Police warn against extended warranty scam

Craig residents are being warned against purchasing extended warranties for their vehicles through the mail.

According to Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta, some residents have received postcards asking people to call about their vehicles there is no stated reason why, just that the recipient should call a number and give a vehicle identification number and the mileage on the vehicle.

"We have serious questions about the credibility of these offers," Vanatta said. "The mailings are worded to sound really important. They infer that there is something wrong with the person's car.

"As soon as a person makes a $1,400 payment, the warranty is canceled, the company disappears, and the money vanishes."

On the postcards, the actual reason for the mailing is never explained, and the company that is responsible for the mailing is only identified on a back corner of the postcard in small print.

The public records of new vehicle registrations are used to create a mailing list for these offers, Vanatta said.

Jim Butts, a salesperson for Cook Chevrolet, said that in most cases the only reliable warranty policies are those offered by the dealerships or automobile manufacturers.

"We sell four extended warranties three by the manufacturers, and one by the insurance company that insures most of the auto plants and dealerships in the U.S.," Butts said. "I would trust a policy as long as it's through a reputable franchise GM, Chrysler, Chevrolet, Ford. I would only get a warranty from an independent company if that company is owned by an auto manufacturer or by one of the major insurance companies involved with the industry.

"These fly-by-night companies I do not recommend at all," he said.

Police have received a few complaints about the mailings, but these types of scams usually begin to appear slowly, and then the area is hit with a major influx of the false offers, Vanatta said.

"Our recommendation is that anyone who receives these offers throw them away," he said. "There's no need to make a [police] report if you've received one of them there's nothing to do criminally. We just want to warn everyone that in all likelihood, you're not going to get your money's worth with these types of investments."

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