Why Do I Keep Getting Calls About a Recall for My Car?

Do you keep getting random calls regarding a recall for your car? If so, then you’re probably tired of constantly seeing that random number pop up on your caller ID, followed by a random voicemail from someone trying to get you to call them back about a recall. Don’t fall for it, it’s a scam.

What is a car recall?

An automaker will recall cars whenever defects that pose a potential safety risk are discovered. Most of the time, these recalls are issued by the manufacturers, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues them as well. In either case, as part of the recall, the manufacturer will offer to repair your car, offer a refund for the repairs, or even offer to buy back the car, as was the case during the Volkswagen “dieselgate” scandal.

A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV red 2019 Jeep Renegade sports utility vehicle (SUV) is displayed at a car dealership
The 2019 Jeep Renegade | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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What’s the deal with the scam phone calls?

Now that you can see how important recall notices are, you can sure as well bet that there are scammers out there trying to take advantage of the situation. In fact, there was one case where Passport Toyota, a dealership located in Maryland, mailed out fake recall notices to 7,000 customers in order to drum up more business for themselves. However, the phone calls that you get are likely from other types of scam artists.

These scam artists are basically fishing for your personal information in order to steal your identity. In order to do so, the scammers will use a technique known as “spoofing” in which they manipulate your caller ID to make it look like they’re calling you from a legit phone number to get you to pick up the phone.

If you do answer, they will typically lead you through a series of questions to get your personal information. Some of them will even contact you via e-mail or text message as well.

A Subaru logo displayed on a cell phone screen
A Subaru logo displayed on a smartphone | Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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What to do if you keep getting these phone calls

First and foremost, never give out your personal information to any of these callers, if anything, your best bet is to ignore them. Also note that for legit recalls, the manufacturer will send you an actual notice in the mail and will never call, text, or email you about it.

If you want to stay in the loop about any future or current recalls for your specific vehicle, then you can do so by entering your car’s VIN into the NHTSA.gov website and then enter your e-mail address into its “recall notification email system.”

Close up detail of a businessman working at a desk with a smartphone and laptop computer, taken on January 31, 2019. (Photo by Neil Godwin/Future via Getty Images)

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If you would like to report the scammer phone numbers that you keep receiving, then you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission. If you want to take it a step further, then you can also add your personal phone number to the National “Do Not Call” registry. Doing so should stop the calls, or at least lessen them.

Automobile recalls are very important and it’s even more important to stay up to date with your car’s current recall status, just make sure that the recalls are legitimate, and remember to never give away your personal information over the phone.