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*Note - This article was initially published on July 14, 2019.
We’re always hearing horror stories about honest, hard-working individuals like ourselves getting scammed out of hundreds and even thousands of dollars. It can bring tears to my eyes whenever I come across a news story about an old lady losing her life savings to a scam artist or a Ponzi schemer. I recently read an article titled “Scams? Are you Gullible?” by Galadriel Arwen, which provides a wealth of information on how to steer clear of scams and Ponzi schemes. However, I don’t believe that anything could have ever prepared me for what had happened to my mother in February of last year after she had accepted what was presented to her as an auto-repair coverage policy over the telephone. I decided to publish this article, because I noticed that nobody else on HubPages has published any article describing an auto-repair coverage scam.
After I first joined HubPages in 2016, I published an article titled “Do Not Trust Self-Appointed Nutritionists” wherein I described the consumer-related crimes of fraudsters Kevin Trudeau and Bill Gouldd in which they had scammed a countless number of individuals with their false promises of health and wealth. Unscrupulous people like these were quite common in the 1990s and even at the dawn of the twenty-first century. I recall this one huckster named Don Lapre who used to give me a few good laughs whenever I saw his television infomercial in which he attempted to sell his product called “The Greatest Vitamin in the World” in a jar that had a colorful and creatively designed label. This man was into everything involving get-rich quick schemes. It was not until recently that I had found out that he had committed suicide in 2011 after the authorities finally zeroed in on him for ripping people off whom he had promised he would make rich. Although I do not like to speak ill of the dead, I still feel that it does justice for me to mention that this man earned a reputation as one of the top ten most notorious con men. Below is a YouTube video about his induction into this same hall of shame.
Although People May Still Defend Don Lapre To This Very Day, He Was No Angel In Wings
Many of us probably remember scam artists like Tom Vu and William J. McCorkle whose deceptive business practices financially damaged many people during a time of economic uncertainty. Unfortunately, scams and Ponzi schemes are not unique to the twenty-first century and the late twentieth century. These disgraces have been a problem for over a century. Herein I describe to you my personal encounter with what very well may be one of them.
1. AutoAssure, LLC Raked A Close Family Member Of Mine Over The Coals
In February of 2018, my mother received a telephone call from a company named AutoAssure, LLC that claims to sell auto-repair coverage to consumers throughout the United States of America. A high-pressure salesman convinced her to accept an auto-repair coverage policy for her 2004 Toyota Corolla, which has been in good condition since she first bought it so many years ago. After the salesman had taken her credit card information over the telephone and had finished speaking with her, she then realized that she really didn’t want this auto-repair coverage policy. Therefore, she phoned the salesman back to ask him to cancel the policy and to cancel the charge he had placed on her credit card. Instead of my mother being able to undo this situation with no questions asked, an extremely hateful and obnoxious woman who answered at the other end told her that she wasn’t “getting out of this that easily!” A reputable business would not have allowed for their customer service representatives or other employees to treat people rudely over the telephone in that manner. However, my mother was not dealing with a reputable business but rather a group of wheelers-and-dealers.
The obnoxious customer service representative who took my mother’s phone call eventually connected her with the salesman who initially signed her up for the auto-repair coverage. My mother clearly and emphatically told this salesman that she wanted to cancel the auto-repair coverage policy as though she had never gotten it. Instead of the salesman doing what she had requested, he continued to throw high-pressure sales pitches at her in an effort to get her to keep the policy. However, my mother did not cave in and she stressed to him that she did not want this policy and that she had the right to cancel it without any costs being imposed upon her. The salesman finally agreed with her that he would cancel her auto-repair coverage policy and remove the charge from her credit card that he had placed on it. Luckily, my mother told me what had happened afterwards, and we both had thought that we would have no further problems with this company.
A month later my mother received a credit card statement from her bank (SunTrust Bank) that showed that AutoAssure, LLC had not removed the charge from her credit card as they had promised her one month earlier. My mother completely freaked out and asked me what she should do in this event. I instructed her to contact the toll-free telephone number on the back of her credit card and explain to them what had happened. The SunTrust Fraud Assistance Center subsequently sent her a dispute form to seek the removal of that charge from her credit card. I assisted her in filling out the form and sending it off to where it was supposed to go. SunTrust Bank ultimately removed the charge from her credit card, and she and I both had thought that this would be the end of this situation. If I remember correctly, the SunTrust Fraud Assistance Center had my mother change her account number on her credit card so that AutoAssure, LLC could not place any further unauthorized charges on it.
In the summer of 2019, my mother received a portfolio of some kind from AutoAssure, LLC containing what appeared to be a contract between her and them for an auto-repair coverage policy. The contract contained personal information about her car such as its Vehicle Identification Number and specific details about it. My mother told me that she had never entered into any kind of agreement with these people recently. She then decided to seal the envelope back up with the portfolio and write “Return To Sender” on it. I told my mother that AutoAssure, LLC should have no way of placing any charges on her credit card if the account number on it had been changed a year earlier. In any event, I agreed with her that we should watch out for any credit card statements that come from SunTrust on which an unauthorized charge from AutoAssure, LLC might appear.
2. AutoAssure, LLC Has A Sketchy History
Now, I’m not going to accuse AutoAssure, LLC of being a scam just yet, because they may not meet the legal criteria for being one. However, I will warn anyone who may be reading my article that AutoAssure, LLC is not a trustworthy outfit and that wise consumers should not do business with them. I don’t mail in contest entries to Publishers Clearing House, because that company has had numerous lawsuits against it according to information on the Wikipedia website. Therefore, as you can see, I am someone who believes that where there is smoke, there is also fire; and AutoAssure, LLC is no exception to that same rule.
If you look at their Better Business Bureau report, you will find that AutoAssure, LLC has an exorbitant number of complaints that have been made against them despite that they once held a B rating with that same agency. The only reason that they had a B rating with the Better Business Bureau at one time was because they were responsive to complaints made against them. However, it does not mean that they respond to consumer complaints in a way that leaves their customers whole. Moreover, such a situation between them and the Better Business Bureau is not the same as a company having a squeaky, clean record with the Better Business Bureau.
The Attorney General of Minnesota brought a lawsuit against AutoAssure, LLC on April 6, 2018 because of their deceptive business practices, and according to a Better Business Bureau report, the court came down on AutoAssure, LLC like a ton of bricks. Down below you will find a YouTube video wherein Robert Trudell shows his confrontation with AutoAssure, LLC over the telephone regarding this same company’s deceptive business practices.
Robert Trudell Rightfully Puts AutoAssure, LLC In The Hot Seat
Brad Laidman had posted a similar video on YouTube regarding the deceptive business practices of AutoAssure, LLC. Unfortunately, that video has been taken down. In any event, what is quite disturbing about AutoAssure, LLC is that unlike other outfits that engage in deceptive business practices, this particular company does not readily show itself to be fraudulent in its conduct on its surface. In other words, AutoAssure, LLC somehow manages to keep up all the appearances of being a legitimate business, whereas people’s unpleasant experiences with that same outfit prove otherwise. Nevertheless, looks can be very deceiving.
3. Conclusion To This Topic
If you want to find good, reliable auto-repair coverage on your vehicle, it is better to shop around and search for a reputable company that offers this benefit. Although I will not recommend any company in particular, doing your homework on this matter will get you much better results than sailing blindly into an agreement with a company that you have never heard of. Do not trust a company of this nature based solely upon an advertisement you received in the mail. Moreover, do not give out your car’s Vehicle Identification Number to a complete stranger over the telephone. In any event, as the title of my article stresses, avoid AutoAssure, LLC at all costs. If they send you something in the mail, shred it and throw it away. If they call you on the telephone, hang up on them.
A Poll For Americans Against Scams
Another Poll For Americans Against Scams
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Jason B Truth
Jason B Truth (author) from United States of America on July 16, 2019:
To all you hubbers and consumers out there! Don't ever let your guard down with these unscrupulous companies that are out there ripping people off left and right. My above article will educate you on what to look out for and what to do if you encounter one of these flimflam artists. Let me know what your thoughts are about my article here in the comments section.