Ask Andy: Cell phone car warranty calls - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andy Wise

Ask Andy: Cell phone car warranty calls

If you haven't received the call, you will.

Someone from some strange area code is going to light up your cell phone, trying to sell you an auto warranty.  In fact, you will probably get SEVERAL calls, each from a different area code.

First of all, the sources of these calls are not auto warranty companies.  They are scam artists with some nifty electronics. 

They got a hold of "Loyce's" cell phone number in Bartlett, TN.  They keep calling her to renew her 2009 Honda Pilot's warranty. 

Hello!  It's a 2009!  Her warranty is as new as the car itself! 

Pretty stupid scam artist.  Here's an excerpt from Loyce's e-mail:

"I keep getting long distance calls on my cell phone and there is a pre-recorded message telling me my auto warranty is about to expire and this is the second notice. The numbers are never the same and they ask me to contact them."

Don't contact them, Loyce.  This is a scam, and it's not even a good one, especially if they're calling folks with brand new cars like Loyce!

Dr. Eddie Roberson, chairman of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (www.state.tn.us/tra), says these calls are being made with auto-dialers.  Roberson says the scammers are programming known cell phone prefixes ...the three digits after your area code ...then auto-dialing them electronically with every area code and every four-digit combination that can come after the prefixes.

Loyce says the area code on her caller ID is different every time she gets one of these calls.

That's because the scammers are using a technology called "caller ID spoofing."  They use expensive equipment that alters the area code on your caller ID to make it look like the call is coming from somewhere else.

"We cannot trace back those numbers," says Sara Kyle, director of the TRA.  "We don't know where to locate these people."

Most of these calls will ask you to press a button before you're connected to someone. DON'T!

You'll get a live person who will either put the hard scam sell on you, or they will ask you for the make and model of your car.

Just hang-up ...and feel good that you didn't fall for this one.

You can also add your cell phone number to your state's Do Not Call list.

For Tennessee:  http://www.state.tn.us/tra/donotcall/nocallform.htm

For Mississippi:  https://www.ms.gov/psc/nocall/

For Arkansas:  Arkansas no longer has a state Do Not Call registry.  Register on the National Do Not Call list at https://www.donotcall.gov/.

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