Auto Warranty Scam Calls Exposed

One thing I've started to enjoy is picking up on scam calls and wasting as much of the scammers' time as possible. Maybe it's altruism and not wanting that time to be spent successfully scamming vulnerable/gullible people. Maybe it's my white-hattedness wanting to dig as deep as I can to keep others safe. But my desire to figure out this particular scam definitely has something to do with my distaste for people who make their living by scamming other people.

The auto warranty scam calls only took me a few rounds to figure out the overall scheme. Here's what I've found out:


Make and model are fairly irrelevant. As long as you match something up decently, you can keep the scammer's attention. Year is the most crucial thing to get right or wrong, depending on the point in the call.

Auto warranty scammers will ask for up to three vehicles if your first two don't "qualify" for the supposed extended warranty. I start out with a modest car--a 1993 Toyota Camry or a similarly old Ford Escort--something that's far too old but could still actually be running in the 2020s. After telling me that the vehicle doesn't qualify, the scammer will ask if I own any other vehicles. After cycling through some real vehicles I've driven in the past, I discovered that the cutoff year for extended warranties is 2007.

If you want to keep a scammer on the line, have a list of cars that are model year 2007 or newer.


This part of the scam was a bit harder to suss out. Typically, scammers won't believe that your 1993 Toyota Camry with a dent in the bumper only has 2,700 miles on it (not that they would offer coverage in the first place), and they won't cover your 2007 Ford Fusion if it's got 249,000 miles. It took a few extra calls just making up different mileage numbers for various acceptable model year cars before I figured out this part of the scam. 

In addition to a car needing to be MY2007 or newer, it also needs to have fewer than 150,000 miles on it.


Some days I'm not full of enough piss and vinegar to waste a lot of the scammer's time, but I still waste enough that they either hang up on me or become audibly frustrated. When I give them believable vehicles with low mileage, they keep asking for more and more. My record so far is five vehicles discussed in a call. However, I've been immediately hung up on for saying that I owned a 1961 Daimler Unimog, as well as a 2011 Bentley Continental. Granted, I said I owned a Bentley after listing a '93 Camry and '07 Fusion so it must not have meshed with their idea of what kinds of cars someone can own if they also own older, non-luxury vehicles (maybe I'm an old rags-to-riches baroness who never gets rid of anything, sheesh). 

Believable Make/Model/Year/Mileage combinations are the key to wasting maximum scammer time.


To me, there's something beautiful about wasting a scammer's time. I've never had sympathy for phone solicitors, especially those who spoof their numbers to look local. There's an amount of hell to give them, wind to take out of their sails, and time of theirs to waste, which is why I wanted so badly to share the structure of their scams. Enjoy!


  1. Hi! We've been trying to reach you about your car's extended warranty...


Post a Comment

"What you type into a comment box on the Internet
echoes in eternity."
- Gerald Ford