Deceptive solicitations for extended auto warranties

Monday, August 17, 2015

 

Consumer Action warns consumers about mail solicitations with offers to renew or extend automobile warranties. These letters are designed to look like they are from a state motor vehicle department or auto dealership but they are actually from marketers. These misleading solicitations purposely attempt to deceive owners into believing that they are official communications about their car's existing warranty. Typically they are just an effort to get you to purchase an extended warranty from a third-party provider.

The letters, which often feature official looking "seals" and fake government logos, contain a description of the make and model of your car, which, like your name and address, can be purchased from your local motor vehicle department. The letters often state that your car's warranty has expired (it may have recently expired but this is not always the case and the warranty may still be in effect). The soliciations urge car owners to take immediate action by calling the number listed in the letter. When car owners call, marketers attempt to sell expensive third-party policies that may not actually provide any valuable coverage if something goes wrong with your car.

Motor vehicle information is obtained through public records. To protect yourself from this scam, read all letters carefully.

If you have any questions regarding your car's warranty, contact your dealership or car warranty company.

Consumers who believe they are victims of an extended warranty scam should contact their state attorney general and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Consumer Action offers many free multilingual publications on how to protect yourself from fraud and scams. Click here to view these materials. Also, follow Consumer Action's Alerts and Headline News on our home page and sign up for our montly Scam Gram e-newsletter.

Read more about vehicle warranty scams:

 

Consumer Action, founded in 1971, is a national education and advocacy organization based in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

 

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