If you’ve picked up a phone call from an unknown number in recent years, there’s a very, very good chance you’ve been greeted by a robotic voice that greets you with some variation of “We’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty.”
That can be a particularly annoying development if you’re someone like myself who hasn’t even owned a car in over a decade, although that makes it infinitely easier to avoid falling victim to the widespread scams designed to dupe unsuspecting victims into offering personal information that can be used to steal your identity.
Plenty of cellular providers have taken steps to protect customers from those phishing attempts by preemptively blocking calls or flashing a “Scam Likely” message on the screen when you’re contacted by a suspicious number.
The federal government has also done what it can to crack down on the offending parties; in 2018, the FTC hit a Florida man who sent out close to 100 million robocalls in a three-month period with a $120 million fine.
According to The Verge, that agency has now set its sights on some companies with the largest role in proliferating the “extended vehicle warranty” plague in the hopes of finally addressing one of the rare issues the vast majority of Americans can rally behind.
The outlet reports the FTC unveiled a court order last week targeting American Vehicle Protection Corporation (AVP), CG3 Solutions, and Tony Gonzalez Consulting Group. If ultimately approved, those parties would no longer be permitted to engage in outgoing telemarketing and would also be permanently banned from the vehicle warranty business as a whole,
While it’s safe to assume scammers will pivot to some other unsavory method to do their thing, I think most people would agree this would be a very welcome change.
If only there was some way for the FTC to also ban calling someone when a text would’ve sufficed.