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Criminals target Wisconsin consumers with auto 'warranty' robocalls

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has received a number of calls from consumers and at least 17 written complaints about auto warranty sales calls since Dec. 22. 

Automated phone calls (“robocalls”) about vehicle “warranties” are typically sales pitches for extended service contracts. 

“Robocalls using high-pressure sales tactics can mean trouble for Wisconsin consumers,” said Frank Frassetto, division administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “Watch for unsolicited phone calls that are vague about who they are and what they are selling or those that aggressively try to push products and services.”

While these extended warranty sales schemes usually operate through official-looking mailers, phone-based warranty schemes are not new. In fact, in 2011, the Federal Trade Commission mailed refunds of more than $3 million to nearly 5,000 consumers who were tricked by robocalls into buying extended service contacts disguised as warranties.

For more information, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at http://datcp.wi.gov, send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-422-7128. Connect with the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wiconsumer.

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