I got a phone call from 978-409-5210 today. I usually let weird area code numbers go to voicemail, but I was in a curious mood, so I answered it.
- This is your second notice [actually, this is the first I've heard from them] about the factory warranty expiring on your vehicle. It's not too late to renew! This is the final call you will receive. Press 2 to be removed from our list [didn't they just say this was the final call?], or press 1 to speak to a representative. [Sure, what the hell.]
- You are number 1 in line to speak to a representative.
- Would you like to find out more about continuing your car warranty?
- First, who are you?
- [pause] Well, my name—
- What company is this?
- My name is is Aaron.
- But what company do you work for?
I don't know why, but the <click> response to asking such a simple question really amuses me. Although I think the Spanish scam phone call was more fun. :)
A quick googling shows that someone else also had a run-in with our scamsters, although he had much more fun with the scammer. According to Google Phonebook, 978-409-5210 is a Massachusetts number belonging to Marilyn Freedman. I doubt that info is accurate, though.
Update, November 28: I just got a second call from these scammers! The new number they called from is 505-986-8074, which the Internets says is a Santa Fe number this time. I talked with "Fred" today. I immediately asked him what company he worked for. Rather than hang up like last time, he just stopped responding. I could hear his call-center scammer buddies in the background, but he wouldn't respond to anything I said. So this time, I hung up on them.
According to 16 Ways You Can Be Phone Scammed, this auto warranty call is #1. Says the site:
Typically the goal is to get you to reveal personal, bank account information, or to make you do something that will result in unwanted charges on your account. ...
Tracing the calls to the companies is difficult. The calls often come from telemarketing centers located overseas. Also, the companies often spoof their caller ID information to display someone’s else’s real number. When people receive these calls they dial the number they see on Caller ID and leave angry messages for an unsuspecting victim. Two-three days later the telemarketers change the Caller ID number and the scam continues.
Indeed, calling the number back results in that error tone and That Lady saying, "We're sorry, the number you have dialed has been disconnected."
Update, August 31, 2009: The FTC filed suit against these guys (or at least someone running the same scam) this May. The FTC complaint names Voice Touch Inc, James and Maureen Dunne, Voice Touch called Network Foundations LLC, Damian Kohlfeld, Transcontinental Warranty Inc, and Christopher D Cowart as defendants.