car warranty scam spam

Your Factory Warranty is About to Expire

No, my car warranty is NOT about to expire. It expired 200,000km ago.

I've had my cell phone for about 4 years, and not once have I received an unsolicited phone call from a telemarketer (other than my bank and my cell phone service provider)... until recently, that is.

It started a few weeks ago. In the middle of the day, I got a call from an area code I didn't recognize. Thinking it might be important personal call (my secret twin who was separated at birth?) or business contact (I do work internationally), I answered. After a short pause, a recorded message played, warning me that my car warranty was close to expiry and that if I didn't act... blah blah blah. I hung up before listening any further, recognizing that it was a bullshit spam or bullshit scam call.

But it didn't end there.

This has gone on, once every few days, for weeks. My phone rings, and I'm greeted by a recorded message:

"Your factory warranty is about to expire. You are still eligible to reactivate warranty coverage. This is the final call before we close the file. Press 1 to speak to a representative about your vehicle. Press 2 to be taken off the follow-up list."

I don't want to press either.

And now the calls are coming from what looks like a spoofed 416 (local) number. It also seems like no one is immune... likely because the calls are coming from an automated dialer of some sort, that is calling random numbers.

Posing the question to the blogTO Twitter feed, I was surprised to find that many people are experiencing the same problem. Twitter user jchristidis pointed me to this very informative report in the Toronto Star (from a couple of weeks ago, in the Wheels section, which I never read).

It turns out there this kind of pressure tactic has been going on for years in the US. But how the hell can a Missouri-based company get away with spam calling Canadians, and not be stopped? In Saskatchewan and BC, the provincial governments have issued cease-and-desist orders. Is Ontario following suit? I certainly hope so.

I want these spammers to stop calling me, and I most certainly don't want other telemarketers to start employing the same privacy-invading, rhino-style techniques. Circumventing our national Do Not Call List by calling from abroad, spoofing phone numbers, and interrupting our day to try to sell us shit shouldn't be allowed.

Photo by Photosapience.


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