Senator calls for investigation into car warranty scammers

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDAM) - Your cell phone rings; and you don't recognize the number. On the other end, a recording tells you, "This is the second and final notice, the factory warranty on your vehicle is about to expire..."

Charles Shumer, (D - New York), said Sunday he would like to see a federal investigation into the harassing "robo-dialer' phone calls which have become a daily nuisance for millions of Americans in 40 states.

The calls are a scam, an attempt to get credit card numbers with fraudulent car warranties, said Shumer.

Most of the calls originate in St. Louis, Mo., according to the state's Better Business Bureau.

More than 35 companies, some starting 10-15 years ago, offer the warranties, but now they are cold-calling cell phones without knowing if the person on the other end even owns a car, according to the Bureau.

Shumer said he wants the Federal Trade Commission, the agency responsible for the national do-not-call list, to find the scammers and shut them down.

The problem, so far, is the callers mask their true telephone numbers from appearing on caller identification systems. Also, people often just hang up when they hear the message instead of moving forward and engaging the scammers or reporting them to their own state's attorney general's office.

Sales calls to cell phones are illegal. If you receive one of these calls, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by calling 877-382-4357.