Hang up on automated calls for car warranties

If you have a company that puts out automatic phone calls to the masses, in order to dupe people into paying you money to extend your car warranty, it's probably a good idea not to call the cell phone of an attorney general.

But that's just what happened. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller recently received not one of these prerecorded calls, but two of them.

And two days ago, he announced that he is suing the California-based company SVM Inc., Fortress Secured, which is headquartered in Nevada, and a California man named Mike Moneymaker (which can't possibly be his real name). The lawsuit basically is asking a court to order these companies to stop their phone calls and impose fines on them if they don't.

According to the Carroll County News in Arkansas, the attorney general there is also considering a lawsuit.

The Better Business Bureau in Louisville, Ky. recently put out a statement to the public, warning people about these calls.

And the police in Kenosha, Wis., have warned the public to hang up on any of these calls --and to not engage them in any way. Sometimes, the recording will ask you to press a number on the phone, which could trigger a charge on your phone bill.

And if you're ever approached by a company called US Fidelis, which is one of the bigger auto warranty companies out there, you'd probably be smarter to take a sledgehammer to your car than pay them. Forty attorney generals (think about that: 40!) are investigating the company for misleading consumers. Verizon just settled a lawsuit with US Fidelis, resulting in the company being banned from making unsolicited calls to its customers.

Who knows? Maybe there are a few honest companies that make unsolicited calls having to do with extended car warranties, but even then, nobody likes an unsolicited sales call -- so they'll deserve what they get, if we all do what we should do when we get an unsolicited call, prerecorded or from a live person, touting the benefits of an extended car warranty: Instead of giving them any money or minutes of your time, give them the safest thing you can offer --a dial tone.
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