Every day, millions of Americans answer the phone only to hear a recorded voice on the other end telling them their car warranty has expired and they need a new one. The call blocking app RoboKiller says last year there were almost 13 billion calls about car warranties, far outpacing any other category. And telemarketers are on pace to do the same this year.
“At this point in 2022, it is statistically possible that every American who owns a phone number, so even if you have multiple phones, has received a car warranty robocall at least three times,” says Guilia Porter, a vice president at RoboKiller.
The top 5 robocall scams of 2021, according to RoboKiller:
- Vehicle warranty
- Health insurance
- Social Security
- Student loans
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The Federal Communications Commission is cracking down on these calls and recently sent out a public notice, telling several voice service providers to stop allowing illegal robocalls. At the same time the Ohio Attorney General filed suit against a telemarketing group that is accused of being behind billions of these calls.
“The suit alleges unfair and deceptive acts; and practices and it also alleges illegal robocalls and robocalling activity. Things like calling people who are on the do not call registry,” says Melissa Smith, the assistant section chief in the Consumer Protection Section of the Ohio State Attorney General’s office. She says consumers who respond to the robocall are connected to a live person who then tries to sell a vehicle service contract.
“And that differs from a car warranty. And many times, these calls make it sound like this is going to have the same protection as the warranty, but that’s not entirely true,” Smith said.
And many warranty robocalls are just scams where criminals try to get personal information and money. Experts say if you don’t recognize a number, just don’t answer the can and if you do answer and it sounds suspicious, hang up.