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Americans received almost 13 billion robocalls offering car warranties in 2021, call-blocking app reports

New effort to block some robocalls
New effort to block some robocalls 02:01

NEW YORK -- Every day, millions of Americans answer the phone only to hear a recorded voice on the other end telling them their car warranty has expired and they need a new one.

RoboKiller, a call-blocking app, said last year there were almost 13 billion calls about car warranties - far outpacing any other category. Telemarketers are on pace to do the same this year. 

"At this point in 2022 it is statistically possible that every American who owns a phone number, so even if you have multiple phones, has received a car warranty robocall at least three times," said Guilia Porter, a vice president at RoboKiller. 

The Federal Communications Commission is cracking down on these calls and recently sent out a public notice telling several voice service providers to stop allowing illegal robocalls. The Ohio attorney general filed suit against a telemarketing group accused of being behind billions of these calls. 

"The suit alleges unfair and deceptive acts and practices, and it also alleges illegal robocalls and robocalling activity. Things like calling people who are on the Do Not Call Registry," said Melissa Smith, assistant section chief in the Consumer Protection Section of the Ohio State Attorney General's office. 

Smith said consumers who respond to the robocalls are connected to a live person who tries to sell a vehicle service contract.

"And that differs from a car warranty. And many times, these calls make it sound like this is going to have the same protection as the warranty, but that's not entirely true," Smith said. 

Many warranty robocalls are just scams where criminals try to get personal information and money. Experts say don't answer a call if you don't recognize the number. If you answer and it sounds suspicious, just hand up.

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