Florida Warns Residents About the Rise of Auto Warranty Scammers Asking Crypto Payments

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The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has issued a notice warning local residents to take caution against fake auto-warranty calls that trick them into scams.

The regulator, which is an executive department of the government of Florida, on Friday warned local residents on how they can identify robocall scams marketing auto warranties.

In the recent past, consumers have raised complaints against increasing robocall scams — wherein scammers use pre-recorded calls to market and sell fraudulent services. Such cases prompted the Federal Communications Commission to order phone companies to stop letting scammers use their telecom networks for auto-warranty scams.

Such auto-warranty scams often trick consumers into giving up their personal information and executing fraudulent deals.

Some fraudsters pretend to represent auto manufacturers or car dealers, but in the real sense, they are not. And they claim to offer extensive “bumper-to-bumper” coverage, which turns out to be far more limited than what they are saying.

·     Many drivers have fallen victim to “auto warranty” scam robocalls. Sometimes, callers can sound legitimate because they know the age or make and model of a customer’s car.

·     Irrespective of the methods used by scammers to contact potential victims, the FDACS issued a newsletter that highlighted five red flags that indicate scams.

·     Immediate action required: a call or letter says it is urgent for a customer to take immediate action to continue his or her car’s warranty coverage.

·     False claims: an outside company offers to extend the factory warranty, something only the vehicle’s manufacturer can do.

·     Imposters: scammers may imply they work for a particular vehicle manufacturer for a prominent or trusted company.

·     Request personal information: requests for a customer’s social security number, driver’s license, or credit card information are signs of scams.

·     Payment type: if a user is asked to pay with a gift card or cryptocurrency, it is a scam.

Besides asking Florida residents to avoid making crypto payments, the regulator emphasized that no government officials would ask for personal information like their Social Security or credit card numbers.

The FDACS added: “Only scammers will require one of those kinds of payment, and once you send the money, you probably won’t get it back.”

Regulators Enforcing Cryptocurrency Crackdowns

Scammers impersonating well-known companies or prominent individuals like Elon Musk have been on the rise.

Last year, impersonators of Tesla CEO Elon Musk stole at least $2 million from crypto investors in so-called giveaway scams.

The theft was part of a so-called giveaway scam, whereby con artists pose as celebrities or known figures in the crypto world. They promise to multiply the cryptocurrency that investors send, but pocket the funds instead.

Crypto scams have been on the rise as Bitcoin’s popularity attracts new investors eager to profit. In the recent past, state regulators launched cracking down on fake crypto investments.

In November last year, attorneys general in Massachusetts and New York issued fines and cease and desist orders to stop bogus crypto firms from conning customers.

The Texas State Securities Board also issued a cease and desist order against a fake company that the regulator said was fraudulently offering crypto mining investments.

Image source: Shutterstock

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