I am a victim of an auto warranty scam: What can I do?

EPGD Law Security

On a weekly or even daily basis, you might be receiving physical mail alerting you that your car warranty is about to expire. You may also be receiving calls telling you to renew your car’s warranty. You think it might be a scam, but can you be sure? A Florida Business Law attorney can help.

Auto warranty services scam

A common situation is as follows: You recently buy a car, maybe even a used car. Then, you start receiving notices via mail that urge you to renew the car warranty. Even if you have not recently purchased a car, you might still be receiving these notices. However, the mailings do not say who they are from, as they often have no response address.

This is actually a common practice, where scammers dressed as legitimate companies offer you auto warranty. Using frightening language regarding your failure to respond, they make it seem as though you need to renew your warranty immediately. In reality, these companies that reach out to you are individual businesses wanting to sell you service contracts, requesting your personal financial information and down payments before actually completing any part of the contract.

Looking at the notice itself, your address is probably at the top of the letter, but there is usually no return address or name of the entity that sent the letter. Rather, the notice usually just says that the letter is “Personal & Confidential” and an “Important Notice.” Other times, the notice is labeled “Motor Vehicle Service Notification,” “Final Warranty Notice,” or “Notice of Interruption.” Some letters might specify that they are from the “Vehicle Services Department,” “Drivers Protection,” the “United Service Protection, Inc.,” “Wesco Insurance Company,” or “Warranty Services-Vehicle Division,” and that your information was obtained from your “consumer data” or “public record consumer auto data file.”

Requesting an “immediate response,” the letter then outlines how your warranty is about to expire, that it already expired, or that your vehicle has no warranty. It might also refer to this warranty as a “vehicle service contract,” “factory warranty,” or “vehicle protection in order to ensure its continued safe operation.” Furthermore, it asks that you activate the service contract for your vehicle “before it’s too late” and usually sets a deadline for when the supposed warranty will expire. The notice might reference a correct or incorrect license plate number.

Auto warranty services call

The scammers also usually include language that if you do not take action soon, something bad is going to happen. For example, some notices say that they will “recategorize your vehicle in our system with a new status of: High-Risk potential ‘Pre-Existing’ conditions with mechanical or electrical issues on vehicle,” which might lead to increased costs or out of pocket repair payments.

The letter may also include a summary of terms, a coverage explanation, and contact information such as a toll-free number. If you were to actually seek this coverage, it is usually for far less than normal, protecting only certain aspects of the vehicle. In reality, the contracts are not warranties, but are contracts to pay for repairs. Thus, you really do not even need a service contract, and if you do, you should seek one offered by the carmaker.

In providing the legitimate year and make of your car, and looking like an official document with bar codes and ID numbers, these scams make you truly believe that you need what they are offering you. Some letters might even have official notices from the Department of Motor Vehicles

You should always first call your car dealer, check your owner’s manual, or contact the vehicle manufacturer to determine if your warranty has indeed expired. Do not call the number that is listed on the letter or postcard. You can also look up the company with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the attorney general’s office. You can also reference local consumer protection agencies or the state insurance commission.

If you do fall prey to one of these scams, you can reach out to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and file a complaint. The FTC and the BBB both issue refunds. A Miami Business Law attorney can help throughout this process.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Silvino Diaz

Silvino E. Diaz’s practice ranges from Civil and Commercial Litigation to Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law. Silvino has earned a reputation as one of Puerto Rico’s foremost advocates for independent musicians and artists. As a result of his sustained commitment to creative industries, he was named Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Atlantic University College (Guaynabo, PR) – the Caribbean’s leading digital arts institution – where he spearheaded the “Introduction to IP” course for both the graduate and undergraduate programs, and was appointed by the Office of the President to develop an Intellectual Property graduate curriculum, where he served until moving to Miami in 2017. He is the founder of the service known as Starving Artists, where he offers innovative business and legal counsel for artists and creatives.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

16 Responses

  1. I received a letter today 9/15/22, stating my “factory warranty has expired or may be about to expire”. All the vehicles I have ever gotten have been used, so what warranty?. There’s no address from the company. However the company name says Vehicle Services Division & I got a name of Mark Smith, program coordinator & phone # as 1-888-307-1175

  2. I received this letter today no address for them only a phone number. I have not owned a car in 20 years. I know it’s a scam but how do we file a class action lawsuits. The phone number on it is.. 18665093401… Help stop these fraud letters

  3. I received this “Vehicle Alert Notice” today with no company name but a phone # 1-877-505-4355 for a new 2022 car. It is an obvious SCAM because a new 2022 model car will NOT have expiring Warranty issue.

  4. Us Automotive Protection Services is a SCAM, and do not cover the automotive parts that we need as the customer. This company is giving people false information.

  5. My parents got this in the mail and were upset, as they had purchased an extended warranty on their last auto purchase and it should not have expired. I read the letter and saw so many red flags (especially no company name) for it being a scam that I did an internet search, including the signer of the letter, Mark Smith, who is mentioned in one of the other comments. Thanks to this law company for helping people identify a scam!

  6. I received a yellow labeled Motor Vehicle Service Notification. I called the number 1-800-730-9576 and I asked the person where I was calling. They told me a weird name. I just asked if I needed to pay for this and they reply “of course, everything has a cost”. I hung up immediately. I don’t know how this is legal. Super SCAM.

  7. Received several calls then the letter from Mark Smith from Vehicle Services Division.
    The #

  8. Mother got a notice in mail and she doesn’t drive. She don’t even have a license.. My husband called and he questioned on what the company’s name was and I guy Tray couldn’t answer his questions and he got nervous and told my husband it was in error.. SCAM

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your helpful advice on how to identify the scam. Really appreciate it and so glad I found your post! I’m going to chuck the mailers in the trash and block the caller.

  10. Received a letter from Vehicle Service Division they sent a check looking Registration Fee Voucher for $199.00. I recently bought a new card. The letter said that my car (which has Progressive insurance) had expired coverage. The second sentence said “Our records indicate you have not contacted us yet to get your coverage up to date” No address. No names. Only a phone number 1-888-413-5067. These people are trying to scam innocent people especilly the elderly and those that might not have a lot of experience with insurance companies or financial dealings like purchasing a car. Be careful. Do not call! Stay safe…

  11. I just received a final notice today, 1/5/2023, from the Vehicles Service Division, urging that I call Steve Wilson at 800-298-4306 by 1/17/2023 with the VIN number of my vehicle and the current mileage. This same letter further states (at the bottom of the letter) that I must call within five (5) days or my eligibility would be revoked, and that I must activate a vehicle service contract. No address, no company name. The footer of the letter (where a professional business address may sometimes be) states that they are open regular business hours 7 am (?) – 5 pm, on MLK day, January 16, 2023! – Rubbish!!! Thank you for you website!!

  12. I got a letter about car warranty. No company address just a 800 phone number. They also added the Vin number on the letter..

  13. Got a letter from vehicle services division saying to call them, and a check looking thing saying it pays registration, why don’t the government go ahead and use it to cover registration and make the mofo’s pay for each one they send? Wouldn’t be a good idea no more.

  14. I got a letter in mail with a $199.00 extended warranty notice this is absolutely disgusting that these scammers try to prey on people.

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