Car Warranty Scam Hitting Ottawa Hard

January 20, 2009

I wrote a while ago here, about a suspected scam phone call that I received.

Your phone rings, a robo voice tells you that this is your second and final notice that your car warranty is about to expire …..

I have now had this call a half dozen times at home – and now for the second time on my cellular.

In my case you would think they would not be so stupid as to keep trying;

1) I am a car guy, I know cars, I like cars, I know every detail about warranty status etc on all of our cars.

2) I work for a very small supplier to the Canadian Automotive industry.

So trust me – I know the automotive sector, including warranty services.

Each time these fraudsters  call – I keep following the prompts to get to the sales human.

Each time when I get there, I challenge them on what manufacturer they represent, where their offices are, name, address – the works.

Wouldn’t you know, they always hang up on me. But even after hanging up on me repeatedly – they keep trying!

It Is A Scam

I know that the Canadian Competition Bureau is ‘aware’ of the scam – and more details are are available at media outlets.

Ottawa Citizen finally mentioned it here  – Canadian press seems a lttle slow at the wheel…

If you are in the Ottawa / Gatineau area – watch out for this scam because it seems to very active in our area codes.

If family members or friends are not particularly car savvy – let them know too.

These scammers do not represent either your car manufacturer or your dealer.

Oh yeah – the last scam call to my cell came from; 617-294-0194

————–

Update 8: Reddit has a rather …. unique conversation happening about this 🙂

Upate 7: Not sure how this is possible -but I just got one that the call display shows 416-000-7964  and 416-000-7732 -How is a prefix of 000 possible? & Kate adds 416-000-4463

Update 6: for those of you in Canada – our CRTC may be complicit in this – it can cost as little as $55.00 bucks to buy your number from the Do Not Call Registry

Update 5: The number of you getting these calls is wild! real extended warranties for your car are a type of insurance. As such they are an agreement between the manufacturer of your car and a business that is usually underwritten by an insurance company. Like any insurance policy, they make money on the actuarial statistics of number of purchasers versus number of claims.

With these calls – there is no agreement with your car manufacturer. The only agreement is between you and robo-call company. You pay these guys money – go to your dealer for a “warranty” repair – they will just tell you they never heard of them – pay up.

Then it is up to you to try and get reimbursed from these robo-call guys.   On that last part – Well you take your chances.

Update 4 Reader Jeff added ; I’m in California and just got one from (781) 891-9348

Update 3: Reader Alex K added two more numbers that the calls came from; 949 256 9160 and 949 256 9153 & @JAwcey adds; 416-907-4361

Update 2; Reader dvz in the comments to this post added another number that he has been receiving the calls from 830.914.4319.

Obviously there are many

UPDATE: My Wife just received one of these calls on her cell. As usual (see below) I waited to speak to the human.

Same result – they hung up on me

Different phone number this time. 909-650-9133

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44 Responses to “Car Warranty Scam Hitting Ottawa Hard”

  1. Malka Hollen Says:

    Hi, what blog platform is this? Can I download it for free or..? I would really like it if you could answer this question! Thanks in advance!

  2. Eric Says:

    My wife keeps getting these calls on her cell phone. and she’s getting tired of the calls. Apparently it doesn’t help to “press 2” to be removed from the list.

    Someone needs to pass this info along to the “Anonymous” guys over at 4chan.org. If anyone can crack this, they probably can. (seriously)

    • elliotross Says:

      @Eric – until that time – the only way that seems to get them to leave you alone is to go through to the human and push them – hard! –

  3. John Says:

    Everyone complain to CRTC until they do something! every time I get a call I’m going to fill out this form. You should all do the same.

    https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/plt-cmp-eng

    • elliotross Says:

      @John – Thanks for adding that – I hope it has a field where I can ask if the CRT C was the one that gave them the number!

  4. jonathan Says:

    These guys are so annoying. They’ll call at 8am on my days off and wake me… anyways, i think i’ll do what you suggest. I’m going to call them on it and hopefully they’ll strike me off the list.

  5. Ralf Says:

    Same here been hit with calls from VT, California and the classic on my cellphones (3 in the family) even thou we did not put these number on the no call list, they still got hold of them!!!

    416-000-4463, 4469, 7954, and 7935

    The telco should and can block these if they wish, an NNX of “000” can be blocked or give the customer the option of blocking area codes and or NNX’x.

    Enough already, these are my airtime minutes

    • elliotross Says:

      @Ralf – thanks for dropping by – if you take the time to get through to a human & push them hard (where are you, office location, address, owner etc) they do seem to take you off the list!

  6. Flint Lahote Says:

    Don’t worry about what phone number you receive, they’re all fake. What is happening is that whoever is doing this is making the call through their computer. Then they have the option of putting in a return number, kind of like writing a return address on a post card, and they can enter any, even some that don’t exist, the call will still be made, but it will display as the fake number on your caller ID.

    I don’t have any experience here, but it may be possible to connect to their network using the signal they call you from, just an idea.

    • elliotross Says:

      @Flint – yes – most are definately fake (an exchange of 000??)

      My only goal here was to try & advise people about it – the more people are aware – the fewer that will get caught in the scam.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  7. elliotross Says:

    @Kevin – Almost a thousand people have hit this post – I just hope that if those 1000 tell 2 people – that there will be fewer victims!

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Regards.

  8. kevin reid Says:

    Hey,
    I’ve got the car waranty call 3 times on my cell phone, first time was from a california/l.a. area code from a seemingly legit number, then the second two times were from the obviously spoofed toronto number with a 000 prefix. in terms of how this is possible, one of the radio stations dealt with the overall spam calls, and apparently the 000 numbers can be attributed to computer based phone number randomizers, and in some cases voip systems.

    Also, I think either the same or similar group is starting to diversify into other areas, because I seem to remember getting an almost identical type of automessage (this is your 3rd warning that suchand such is going to happen), unfortunately I didn’t have the patience to wait to find out what new scam they were running so just hung up immediately since I was in the middle of making dinner at home.

  9. elliotross Says:

    @Kate: Thanks for adding that number – if they do call back – when you get to the human – just push them – ask for their name, the owners name, the address, the owners address – do that until they hang up on you – that seems to have got me off their list!

  10. Kate Says:

    I just got a call from1-416-000-4463 and waited for a human voice also. They have been calling twice a day for weeks now. How did they get my number anyways?I pretty much said I’ve read about this scam and I don’t even own a vehicle. Then, I repeatedly swore at the lady telling her she’s a f****n scam artist and that she’s going to hell. Are they going to call me back after that? I hope not.

  11. tree Says:

    Totally got scammed, we were out of the country while all the news had came out concerning this warranty scam. Warrenty was expiring on our vehicle, so…… Needless to say, once realized called our credit card company. After, 3 calls to the credit card company and 2 to the police, we finally saw a result. DO NOT let your credit card company blow you off. Insist immediate freeze on your card. We were lucky, I figured it out after partially hearing the conversation my husband was having with the scam artist. Let me tell you my husband is no fool, he just got caught off guard and ill informed. These guys are good, even giving extension #’s business information, representive names, confirmation #’s. Crazy !!! Welcome back to Canada eh? We are a trusting lot.

    • elliotross Says:

      @tree – thanks for dropping by – not a very good welcome back! – After all this time the Ottawa papers finally published an alert!

      Regards

  12. elliotross Says:

    @Mike I know that here in Canada it being investigated – but these can take years.

    The only way that I have found to get rid of them from calling you, is to spend the money waiting to get to the “Human”

    When you get there – get very, very pushy – ask what manufacturer they represent, ask for the address, ask for the company name – keep pushing – they are then going to remove you – because it obvious you are on to them.

  13. Mike B. Says:

    I’ve been getting these on a new TracFone I activated a few days after Christmas. It’s always the “this is your second and final notice” thing from a dialer. This last time today, it was from 781-891-9348 (always a different number each time). Called it back and it’s not a valid or working number.

    I was suspecting that it was a company that dials prepaid cell phones like mine to use up minutes and force the owner to buy more. So far, for me, after 10 calls, that’s $3.33. Multiply that by hundreds of thousand customers (or millions) and that ads up to a very large sum of money! And who would know how and have the resources to obscure the real source of the calls better than a phone company? Just an idea.

    (But from what others here are writing, it appears to be a scam to sell fake warranties)

    In any case, is the Attorney General aware of this, and why isn’t anything being done to put an end to this pervasive fraud and intrusion?

  14. elliotross Says:

    @ Jeff – thanks for adding that number!

    We can call up here too – but these guys are the equivalent of ‘no-fixed address’

    They won’t obey those anyway –

    I have to say though – if you get them – wait to speak to a human & force the issue – after the last time – I have not had it happen again

  15. Jeff Burgess Says:

    Even though you are in Canada please file a complaint.

    https://www.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx

  16. Jeff Burgess Says:

    I’m in California and just got one from (781) 891-9348

  17. Edmonton, AB Says:

    LOL Jawcey…me either. i told them that i didnt even own a vehicle, and told them i was gonna call the cops today…i wonder if they will call me back…ha!

  18. elliotross Says:

    @Jawcey a 416 Code no less!

  19. Jawcey Says:

    I just received a call as well. From 416-907-4361. Cracked me up because I don’t even OWN a vehicle, but I have warned my vehicle-owning friends.

  20. elliotross Says:

    @Alex – I added those numbers 🙂

  21. Alex K Says:

    I started getting those calls, too. So far one and then ‘second reminder’ phone call. I’ve heard about this scam on cp24, so I knew that I shouldn’t bother listening to it. The number was 949 256 9160 and 949 256 9153 when they called me the first time.

  22. elliotross Says:

    @JGreen – thanks for visiting – and no – I certainly have NOT gotten those texts! and I hope that I don’t

    PS good luck on the exams!

  23. JGreen Says:

    I’ve been getting these calls too! Extremely annoying. My last was while I was out on the lake shore, and it was bloody -20 at the time… My hand nearly froze just trying to get my phone. The time before that, I was writing an exam. Very distracting when a phone is vibrating in my pocket, but I should have had it turned off anyway.

    I’ve also been getting texts an unknown number, the texts read, “Message to all… Ray and I have officially broken up for GOOD this time after 4 years on and off.” Today, this came from . I know no Ray. I don’t know the number. Anybody else getting this call?

    And by the way, great article, elliotross.

  24. rootuser Says:

    Ha I really had a warranty for my 95 Odyssey with 247,000 kms !!! – I don’t think so.

  25. elliotross Says:

    @dvz thanks for the comment – I will update the post with that new #

  26. dvz Says:

    I have also been getting these calls consistently over the past 2 months; I’ve gotten at least 20 calls from them.

    I tried speaking to a human representative once, a male, who asked “Do you want to purchase an extended warranty on your vehicle,” to which I responded “no, I want to know who you are.” Click. Hang-up.

    Typically the numbers are a mix of private numbers and changing numbers. The most recent call was from 830.914.4319

    From the looks of things and the complains, I would venture to guess that they are somehow phreaking legitimate customer phonelines and redirecting their calls that way. I’m almost positive that the name traced to the number is not the culprit…that would be too easy.

    —–
    As for invasion of privacy, I agree with that whole-heartedly. I wish something would be done; I shouldn’t have to answer my phone and hang it up multiple times a week and at absurd hours of the day and accept this inconvenience. Neither should anyone else.

  27. elliotross Says:

    Thanks for dropping by Alison!

    Amazing how many ‘final chances’ they give you!

  28. alison Says:

    I’ve been finding messages regarding ‘final chance for my warranty’ on my call answer, but since I bought my car second-hand, from my mother, I figured something was fishy. Thanks for the info.

  29. elliotross Says:

    @Steve – thanks for dropping by –

    It definitely is crossing all area codes. One thing I found last night – the robo-dial they use passes on the number to the ‘human’ that answers – becasue when I spoke to the human they claimed that the ‘account number’ was the phone number that they had dialed.

    Again, I pressed for the human to tell me which car they were calling about – they would only say the ‘newest one’

    I figure the best we can do is pass on the word as best we can!

    Regards.

  30. steve llinger Says:

    I am getting the same calls on my cell and at home, from “909-650-9133”. Interesting that my cell number and my home number are not even the same area code and not close to the same prefix.

  31. elliotross Says:

    @vp – John got it in TO as well, so it is not just my area

    @Julien I never give my cel # – but they found it, Somehow I doubt this type of organization will worry about do not call lists!


  32. Oh man… Please don’t give out my cell phone number publicly! 🙂 I still get many similar phone calls, but I THINK I have seen the number drop since I registered on the Do Not Call List. Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.

  33. vpcruiser Says:

    got a call from this number today. in toronto. … unreal

  34. elliotross Says:

    Thanks for dropping by David –

    I know some people to forward that to 🙂

  35. David Damore Says:

    Google Search

    If that is a US phone number, some interesting information is below.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=617-294-0194&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=

    Phonebook results for 617-294-0194

    Marcio Souza (617) 294-0194 40 Rock Valley Ave, Everett, MA 02149

  36. elliotross Says:

    Thanks for the note!

    All we can do is pass the word.

    Especially to those most at risk (ie many of the elderly etc)

  37. John Says:

    I just got called by that exact same # on my cell phone with the same exact scam, and I’m out here in Toronto! *sigh*


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