Bullock Announces Investigation of Extended Car Warranty Companies, Illegal Telemarketing
HELENA – Many Montanans have received dozens of phone calls from companies attempting to sell extended car warranties and Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock said Tuesday that his office has been investigating these businesses.
Using automated phone calls, or ‘robocalls,’ these companies employ misleading and deceptive practices to lure customers into buying warranties that are often worthless. Bullock and his counterparts in 39 other states have intensified their investigation into these businesses in recent months.
“Like most Montanans, I’ve received these calls at home, at work and on my cell phone. The last thing anyone wants is a robot calling when you’re in the middle of dinner or trying to put one of your kids to bed,” Bullock said. “But these calls are more than just annoyances. They are trying to dupe unsuspecting folks out of hard-earned money and they’re often against the law.”
An 82-year-old woman who lived in a nursing home and didn’t even own a car had been talked into purchasing extended warranties from five different companies. The Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection was able to recoup nearly $7,000 from the companies for her, Bullock said.
While the investigation of these companies is ongoing, Bullock urged Montanans to do the following things to help officials crack down on these callers and to help protect themselves from scam artists:
- Sign-up for both the federal and state ‘do not call lists’ which make it illegal for most telemarketers to call. To sign up, call (888) 382-1222 or TTY (866) 290-4236 from the phone number you wish to add, or for more information, visit the Department of Justice website.
- Contact the Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 if you, or someone you know, has purchased one of these warranties and wishes to file a complaint.
Report the phone numbers of these callers to the federal authorities at www.ftc.gov or call (888) 382-1222.