May 12th, 2020 - Telecom, Identity and Protection
By Jim Tyrrell, Product Marketing Director at TNS
In spite of the trend towards car-sharing (Zipcar, Turo, etc.) and the age of Uber, it’s important to remember that the car is still king in the US.
Over 90% of households in America own a car, so it’s no wonder that one of the most common scams we see is related to auto warranties. The call is almost always a recorded message instead of a live call. The interactive voice recordings sound convincingly real making it easy to assume you are talking with an actual human.
Bad actors use automatic telephone dialing systems that have the capacity to dial a very high volume without human intervention. Many people receive these calls every day and some have reported to us that they are receiving as many as 10 unwanted calls a day pitching auto warranties. The worst part is that scammers call from so many numbers that by the time subscribers are done blocking one number, several other telephone numbers that look similar will pop up on their screen.
These are classic examples of phishing calls for credit card and bank information. The goal is to convince you to buy a warranty by telling you your warranty has “expired”. First, the voice will attempt to hook you with a pitch and convince you to stay on the line or press a number. The software then transfers you to a representative who tries to sell you a fake warranty and gain your credit card number. Often, if they can’t reach the subscriber, they will leave voicemails with a callback number filling up your voicemail with unwanted calls.
Below is a real example of one of these scam calls:
“I’m calling from vehicle servicing to reach out regarding the factory warranty on your vehicle. Our records indicate it’s past the coverage expiration. I see the vehicle on file is still eligible for vehicle warranty protection. For security reasons, let me get a specialist who can give you the details on the vehicle and explain your available options.”
Subscribers must remain vigilant and protect themselves by never giving anyone their personal information over the phone, unless they are 100% sure they are legitimate, or better yet the call was expected.
These scammers are good at their job and have easily tricked millions of people. Warranties and protection plans are the fourth highest scamming topic according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). More than 500,000 complaints to the Do-Not-Call list have been reported over the last three years.
In addition, subscribers can protect themselves by leveraging telecom provider robocall detection solutions powered by TNS Call Guardian.
TNS analyzes robocall data from more than one billion daily call events across hundreds of telecom providers. Because of this volume of data, TNS extracts insights on emerging robocaller tactics and trends. While it is difficult to predict what the next major robocall scam will be, we do know this: scammers continue to rapidly evolve their tactics and targets to evade detection efforts. This means consumers must remain vigilant when it comes to suspicious incoming calls, and carriers must continue to deploy innovative solutions to protect their subscribers.