COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As the country gets back to work this summer, telemarketers and phone scammers are getting back to work as well.

And the number one unwanted call in 2021 has to do with your car’s warranty, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

It seems that almost every day, someone needs to reach you about your warranty expiring.

“We are calling with an urgent message about your car’s warranty,” the automated caller says.

Sometimes they even know the make of your car.

“This is an urgent call about your Volkswagen’s warranty,” (or Honda, or Toyota,  or GM etc) another call said, making you think there is a problem with your car.

How do they know what you drive? They typically purchase owner lists from manufacturers and the state, though in many states, it is considered public record.

But the FTC says “buyer beware.”

While some of these companies are legitimate, in many cases these are shady firms that may sell you a $1,000 warranty your dealership won’t recognize and won’t honor.

Simple ways to stop them, especially with iPhones

The worst thing you can do when you get these calls: Pressing 1 or 2 to opt out. That tells them you are a live caller, and you may get even more calls in the future.

Doesn’t that stink?

If you have an Apple iPhone, there is an almost-secret setting to now block them.

In iOS 13 or 14:

  • Go to Settings
  • Click on Phone
  • Look for Call Silencing, and turn it on.

You can then silence unknown callers, any number that is not in your contacts or was not recently called. They will just go to your voice mail, where robocallers usually don’t leave a message.

Have an Android phone? Check with your cell provider on how to block unknown callers, or consider purchasing a call blocking app on Google Play, such as NoMoRobo, Robostopper, or others.

If you want an extended warranty for your vehicle, talk to your dealer about which warranties they will accept in their shop.

You ideally want one that pays the dealer directly, and does not require you to pay, then get reimbursed. Shady warranty companies will reject your claim.

That way you don’t waste your money.


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