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David N. Kirkman
Task Force Alert
Chair
Asst Attorney General
Consumer Protection
NC Department of
Justice
P.O. Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602
919-716-6000

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North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

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"Expiring Auto Warranty" Warnings

The North Carolina Attorney General today issued the following alert concerning certain marketers of auto warranties. It is being shared with Task Force members because of reports that some of these entities are targeting seniors heavily.

Consumer Alert: Watch out for car warranty offers, warns Cooper

Raleigh: Attorney General Roy Cooper today warned North Carolina consumers to be skeptical of post cards or telephone calls claiming that their car warranties are about to expire.

“These offers target seniors and other car owners with post cards and phone calls that sound urgent,” said Cooper, whose office is investigating the post cards and calls. “They want to pressure you into buying an expensive car warranty. Don’t let a high-pressure sales pitch talk you into something you don’t want or need.”

In the past month, Cooper’s office has averaged around thirty calls a week from consumers who’ve received these post cards in the mail or calls on the phone urging them to renew their car warranties before they expire.

Since May, a total of 25 North Carolina consumers have filed written complaints with Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division about the pitches. Many of these consumers got pre-recorded phone messages, mailings, or both asking them to purchase an extended warranty. The solicitations have especially targeted seniors.

The post cards and phone messages include phrases like “motor vehicle notification,” “final notice” or “priority level: high” in large letters to make the offer seem urgent. [Note: an image of one of these post cards is attached.]

When consumers who receive one of the phone messages or post cards respond by calling the number listed, they are pressured to buy an expensive extended warranty for their car. Callers are told they must make a down payment before they can get information about the warranty.

Cooper offered consumers the following tips:

  • Beware of mailings that appear to come from your automobile manufacturer offering extended warranty coverage.
  • Beware of pre-recorded phone calls. In North Carolina, it’s illegal for telemarketers to use pre-recorded messages unless a live person first asks you if you want to listen to the recording.
  • Never give out personal financial information like your bank account number or Social Security Number over the phone.
  • Check to see if you already have a car warranty, or if your warranty has already expired. Many of the consumers who’ve gotten these offers say their car warranties expired long ago.
  • When considering an extended warranty, always get information in writing before you agree to sign up or pay any money.
  • Check out a business with the Attorney General’s Office and your local Better Business Bureau before you agree to do business with them.

If you’ve responded to one of these offers, you can file a complaint with Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division by calling toll free 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by visiting www.ncdoj.gov for a complaint form.

Noelle Talley
Public Information Officer
NC Department of Justice
(919) 716-6484

******End of Alert******

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