Car warranty scam, continued

I did a little more poking around on the car warranty scam today after a woman wrote me asking for more information. My blog posts had shown up on Internet searches of the phone number so I decided to see what other people had reported on 800notes.com on the number.

Here’s the page where people reported calls from 702-520-1274. Note this entry:

i found an 800 number for this company 877-700-5880, called and was hung up 3 times. the fourth time i got someone obviously new and managed to get their mailing address 6501 congress ave, ste 140, boca raton, fl 33487.

she confirmed to me they are using an automated dialer.

each call was answered with a different company name.

Note the 800 number is the same one I reported previously.

Do a search on the address of 6501 congress ave, ste 140, boca raton, fl 33487 and what do you get? References to two companies: Automotive Warranty Solutions LLC, and Warranty Wholesale.

So what does Automotive Warranty Solutions (let’s call them AWS) have for a WHOIS record? Not much to go on:

Registrant:
Automotive Warranty Solutions
ATTN: AUTOMOTIVEWARRANTYSOLUTIONS.COM
c/o Network Solutions
P.O. Box 447
Herndon, VA 20172-0447

Domain Name: AUTOMOTIVEWARRANTYSOLUTIONS.COM

Administrative Contact :
Automotive Warranty Solutions
wn2cr2yh3yb@networksolutionsprivateregistration.com
ATTN: AUTOMOTIVEWARRANTYSOLUTIONS.COM
c/o Network Solutions
P.O. Box 447
Herndon, VA 20172-0447
Phone: 570-708-8780

Technical Contact :
Automotive Warranty Solutions
wn2cr2yh3yb@networksolutionsprivateregistration.com
ATTN: AUTOMOTIVEWARRANTYSOLUTIONS.COM
c/o Network Solutions
P.O. Box 447
Herndon, VA 20172-0447
Phone: 570-708-8780

Record expires on 23-Dec-2012
Record created on 23-Dec-2004
Database last updated on 25-Oct-2007

Domain servers in listed order: Manage DNS

NS45.WORLDNIC.COM 205.178.190.23
NS46.WORLDNIC.COM 205.178.189.23

The interesting part is this. On a whim, I decided to look up the address of Great Atlantic Warranty, another company allegedly involved in this warranty scam. Guess what? Great Atlantic’s address is 6413 Congress Avenue in Boca Raton. This just happens to be right across the street from Automotive Warranty Solutions LLC. Wow, figure the odds of that happening.

I got more curious about AWS so I decided to look up their corporate records in Florida’s Corporation database. Want to know what found? Nothing. Not a thing. Automotive Warranty Solutions does not exist as Limited Liability Corporation according to Florida’s corporation records. Interesting, huh.

AWS’s neighbor, Great Atlantic Warranty, does have its corporate records in there. Here’s what you find when you pull them up:

Detail by Entity Name
Florida Profit Corporation
GREAT ATLANTIC WARRANTY, INC.
Filing Information
Document Number P04000063400
FEI Number 201044348
Date Filed 04/15/2004
State FL
Status ACTIVE
Last Event AMENDMENT
Event Date Filed 09/07/2006
Event Effective Date NONE
Principal Address
6413 CONGRESS AVE STE 250
BOCA RATON FL 33487
Changed 09/07/2006
Mailing Address
6413 CONGRESS AVE STE 250
BOCA RATON FL 33487
Changed 09/07/2006
Registered Agent Name & Address
ZAMBOURIS, MICHAEL
6413 CONGRESS AVE STE 250
BOCA RATON FL 33487
Name Changed: 09/07/2006
Address Changed: 09/07/2006
Officer/Director Detail
Name & Address
Title D
ZAMBOURIS, MICHAEL
6413 CONGRESS AVE STE 250
BOCA RATON FL 33487
Annual Reports
Report Year Filed Date
2005 04/27/2005
2006 05/01/2006
2007 05/04/2007

Michael Zambouris is the name in the corporate records database. The name on the annual report appears to be “Mike Zambonis.” Probably just sloppy handwriting.

A Google search for Michael Zambouris yields nothing. Google helpfully offers to correct the spelling, which brings results that report a Michael Zambouros was allegedly connected to reputed mobster John Gotti, Jr. I’m sure Mr. Zambouris isn’t in the mob, though. No, no, no.

Mr. Zambouris left us his telephone number at the bottom of the annual report. A quick Google search of 561-372-0440 yields this as the number of Nations Bookkeeping and Tax LLC, also of Boca Raton, FL. A corporate records search yields this:

Detail by Entity Name
Florida Limited Liability Company
NATIONS BOOKKEEPING & TAX LLC
Filing Information
Document Number L06000014512
FEI Number 432099068
Date Filed 02/09/2006
State FL
Status ACTIVE
Effective Date 02/11/2006
Last Event LC NAME CHANGE
Event Date Filed 03/08/2006
Event Effective Date NONE
Principal Address
4400 NORTH FEDERAL HWY.
SUITE #122
BOCA RATON FL 33431 US
Changed 04/18/2007
Mailing Address
4400 NORTH FEDERAL HWY.
SUITE #122
BOCA RATON FL 33431 US
Changed 04/18/2007
Registered Agent Name & Address
CLARK, ROBERT C
661 S W 4TH STREET
BOCA RATON FL 33486 US
Manager/Member Detail
Name & Address
Title MGRM
CLARK, ROBERT E
915 PARKSIDE CIRCLE NORTH
BOCA RATON FL 33486 US
Title MGRM
CLARK, ROBERT C
661 S W 4TH STREET
BOCA RATON FL 33486 US
Annual Reports
Report Year Filed Date
2007 04/18/2007
Document Images
04/18/2007 — ANNUAL REPORT
03/08/2006 — LC Name Change
02/09/2006 — Florida Limited Liability

That’s where the trail ends for now. I’m not sure why Mr. Zambouris would list the phone number of Nations Bookkeeping on his annual report. I can see where a registered agent might do this but Mr. Zambouris filed his report as the president of the company, not the agent. He lists himself as the agent but gives the same address of Great Atlantic, so it appears he is not simply a registered agent for hire.

On a related search I decided to see what other companies might be related to Automotive Warranty Solutions, LLC. There’s no exact match for that company in Florida’s corporate database, but there is one called Automotive Warranty Advisors. Great minds must think alike because this company also has numerous complaints against it, including a WTOC TV investigation which describes the car warranty scam nicely.

More to come.

Update: Oh, and according to Florida’s corporate records, Warranty Wholesale, Inc. does not exist, either. Surprised? Warranty Wholesale shares the same address as the fictitious Automotive Warranty Solutions.

Update 2: Ralph Mancuso owns the warrantywholesale.com domain name, according to the WHOIS record. He used to live in Emeryville, CA but now lives in Delray Beach, FL, according to visitors to whocalled.us.

Update 21 Oct 2008: Hello, Slashdot! See my blog’s Meddling category for more on tracking the warranty scammers.

Update 22 Oct 2008: Word on the street is that Great Atlantic Warranty is now North American Warranty Solutions.

Update 13 May 2009: Hello, New York Times! Please ask your representatives to visit my site if they would like to track these bastards down.

Tags: , , , ,

17 Responses to “Car warranty scam, continued”

  1. JoeMetz says:

    I received a call from “GA Warranty” on Friday, 1/4/08. I should have followed my instincts, but instead I swallowed it hook, line & sinker. The reason? It seemed feasible because my Cadillac has 71K miles on it & I know that my extended warranty ends at 75K. However, the more I questioned him (“Steven Dormezil”), I realized he didn’t have much information about me other than my phone number. He even sent me a document on email showing me the warranty. After giving him all my card info, I hung-up & googled for 888-858-8448 only to come up with bad news (badbusinessbureau.com). I called American Express & told them I wanted to dispute the charge on the grounds of fraud. I went as far as to cancel the card & have them issue a new one.
    The charge shows up as “Great Atlantic Warranty”. I found your article by googling for “6413 Congress Ave”. American Express has opened a dispute on my behalf. I will post more as the process progresses.

  2. Mark Turner says:

    Hi Joe,

    Sorry to hear you got taken.

    I’d be greatly interested if you could forward me that email from GA you got sent (message headers and all) if possible. You can send it to markt at markturner dot net. Thanks!

  3. guitarjohnny@sbcglobal.net says:

    I’m one of the idiots who got taken by great atlantic as well.The more I research it the more I see I’m not the only one.A class action lawsuit has got to come together against these guys.I would love for a lawyer to contact me.

    As for the rest of you who have been burned by these crooks,keep trying and keep posting complaints.We can all get together and beat these thieves!!!

  4. AmyLynn says:

    Correction: Ralph Mancuso owns both Automotive Warranty Solutions and Warranty Wholesale. Both companies are legit and neither are “fictitious” as you claim. These two compainies are in no way associated with GAW. Guilt by address association is a little far fetched. Not all warranty companies are scams even if they use telemarketing as a type of advertising. Annoying? Yes, but a “scam”? NO.

  5. flashbackav says:

    yes, I too was fooled and I feel so dumb. The salesperson called me on the phone and I assumed he was callling from my dealership because my warranty had just expired a few week before. That was the biggest mistake I made. They ended up charging me $300.00 and promising way too much. So, after the transaction I became immediately alarmed and called back the number on my cell phone. It was busy. So, I called the bank and tried to get a stop payment. I did but later I found out that because it was a debit charge and i had authorized it that they could not put a stop payment on it. So, today I checked my account and they had taken it out of my checking account. I was so pissed! I went on line and that is when I found all these complaints about this company. On their wedsite it says their business hours are MOn. – Fri. 9am to 12am. EST. something wrong with that for sure. I tried to call today and a lady was really rude and just ended up hanging up on me. So, i called the number on my cell phone from the salesperson “Todd” who sold me the policy and yes, it was disconnected! Man, I am not sure what to do now? Got any ideas?

  6. fordgirl34 says:

    Well, last night people from Great Atlantic called me as well. My husband and I were also pulled into there great offer. So, I had arrangements for them to pull $350 out of our checking today. When I woke up this morning, I decided to call my local Dodge dealership to see if they would had heard of this place. They hadn’t, and cautioned me. So I tried to call the number that a “Damon” in California had given me. He told me it was his “direct line”. So I tried to call them, and got the run around. Press 1 if you know the ext…… and 0 for the operator. Well, the operator wasn’t available. So I googled Great Atlantic and then found what I feared. I then called my bank, because the funds hadn’t been taken out yet, and I was able to freeze my account. I also found a number to them in Florida 1-888-898-8778 and reached a lived person immediately. I didnt want any trouble, so I gave them the excuse that my husband lost his job today. Mind you, I dont like liars, but felt I needed to, to get this taken care of. Well, I told them what happened. That they called me last night, they were going to take the money out today, but my husband lost his job, and we can’t afford it now. Can we have it stopped? The man I spoke with said he was taking down my name and number and going to have someone call me. I waited, no calls, about when I was going to leave my phone rang. It was a lady named “Christy” she told me she works in the checks (payment) department and she would cancel it. She told me that she erased all of my info and that MEPCO shouldnt even call since she erased everything. So, that made me feel better (but we shall see). Anyhow, I froze my account and I am going down today to start a new one so they wont have my banking information.

    The number “Christy” gave me was for the corprate office for the Customer Service of Great Atlantic and that number is 888-858-8448. I tired to call it when she put me on hold for a sec and it did go through. So maybe give that number a call flashbackav or anyone else who may need it. I wish you all luck. I sure have learnt my lesson!!! Thank you for all of the post’s. It sure saved me!!!

  7. zyclop says:

    quote: AmyLynn Says: March 4th, 2008 at 4:48 pm
    Correction: Ralph Mancuso owns both Automotive Warranty Solutions and Warranty Wholesale. Both companies are legit and neither are “fictitious” as you claim. These two compainies are in no way associated with GAW. Guilt by address association is a little far fetched. Not all warranty companies are scams even if they use telemarketing as a type of advertising. Annoying? Yes, but a “scam”? NO.

    YEAH !!! And I believe in the tooth fairy too !!!
    Being a registered [legit] company does not necessarily mean not scamming people.

  8. zyclop says:

    Sorry forgot to add the link you need to read for yourself:
    [http://whocalled.us/lookup/9544246715]

  9. zyclop says:

    !!! Her Masters Voice !!!
    Definitely looks as “AMY” is a paid mouth/write-piece for mancuso1@aol !!
    ===
    link: [ http://www.whocalled.us/lookup/4805431282 ]

    2008-03-04 20:30:37 UTCAmy
    It seems as if they are using telemarketing to drum up business, but they are not scamming people
    ================

  10. ScamAlert says:

    Greetings,

    I live in California, and last week, I was contacted about my vehicle being out of warranty soon. Their problem was…the vehicle I owned was transferred a few years ago and was already out of warranty, and I now drive a company car, not registered in my name, so I asked how they came up with this information. They hung up on me. Today, I was contacted again this time ‘this is your second notice’ so i grilled her. “What company do you work for?” “GA Warranty”, “How did you come up with my name and number, since neither is registered to a vehicle that’s covered by a company of another name” “We get our resources from about 10 different companies”…then I asked “Can you tell me the names of these companies” she said “I Have no idea what they are”, I then said “you might want to take a serious look into the company you’re working for, as there is NO WAY that this should have come up to me, and you can’t even tell me MY NAME…. and it’s very suspicious that your phone number comes up blocked every time” to which I received my second “CLICK” from the company.

    Something is definitely up with them.

    As far as being telemarketing to ‘drum up business’…if that were the case, they would have a call list with names and vehicle information. They had NO information about Registered owner/vehicle ID, and even ASKED me if I would give them my VIN number on the vehicle. A legitimate business is NOT going to ask you for your VIN number….

    on a side note, it also seems there is a Medicare/MediCal scam going on…. for ‘supplemental insurance’ to ‘your existing policy’…. however, I do not have Medicare OR MediCal, and have my own PPO, yet they wanted my policy # and other information for my MediCal coverage…. so, another fishy one out there.

  11. durangoguy says:

    These guys have been dunning me so I finally played along to try to find out who they were. After listening to the pitch for a $3000 extended warranty ($400 down and they would finance $137/mo) they directed me to their web site http://automotivewarrantysolutions.com
    “Ed” was my sales associate, he can be reached at 800-376-5688 x 1607. If anyone has any “questions” about their product why don’t you give “Ed” a call. As often as possible!

  12. S says:

    On March 7, 2008, I purchased an extended warranty with Great Atlantic Warranty for $2288. I decided to cancel the policy on March 24th. As requested, they received written notification from me on March 27th. They then told me I would get my refund in 30 days, then it turned into 60 days then 12 weeks. I’ve made countless calls to the answering service and have not received one call back. I filed a complaint with the BBB on July 18th, and Great Atlantic claims that they sent me a check for the refund. Currently, Great Atlantic is “investigating” and checking to see if the check was ever cashed.
    Chris, a manager at GAW, called me on August 30th and told me that they sent me my refund check on August 27th and that there was a problem with their system affecting 21 customers. I’ve waited 6 months for my refund and finally received a check on September 3rd, deposited and was notified that the check bounced. So not only am I out my refund, I’m out the service charge from the bank. This is a dubious and unethical company. I’ve called countless times and left over a hundred messages with their answering service. When I finally did get through to GAW, I spoke to both Tracy and Mindy (on two separate occasions). These two are trained liars; they are deceitful and vile just like their company. Spread the word about this company to your friends, family and co-workers.

  13. [...] related news, many unhappy customers are flocking to my website, looking to vent about this untrustworthy company. If you’ve been [...]

  14. zippertn says:

    After i married my wife, i wanted to know who are her creditor, i found out she have purchased an extended warranty for her car. she have signed for that warranty by phone on september 2008. Few days ago, she received a mail from “Warranty Activation Headquarters”. She get confused, and i tried to figure out what’s going on. I found out she have set autopayement of 175$ each month to a financing company called “MEPCO”.My wife never received a warranty contract, nor she have received any statement from the financing company. I called “MEPCO”, a woman told i was not receiving bill because of the autopayement, some 1200$ are payed and i still have to pay 7 more months,she also told me that the warranty was provided by DealershipServices.I called the DealershipServices and i found out that she have a contract for a warranty until 2013, i asked to get a copy of the contract, and was told i’m going to receive it within 7 days.After that i made a search on google, i dicovered through the posted complains that my wife was a victim of a scam.
    The technique of MEPCO and DealershipServices [Which i suspect to be a 2 head of the same viper]was evil. one company offer the service at a high price and offer financing through the second company. That way if you want to cancel you will have trouble. MEPCO will tell you that she already paid DealershipServices and want to get her money, and DealershipServices try to deny by all the way the refund of the payement.
    I’m trying to resolve this issue and find a way to get my wife out of trouble by finding a solution for this problem.
    Not making the monthly payement may cause the finance company to report a bad credit and end up with a more complex is a mission impossible.
    Two solution have to be explored:
    - Require the financing company to send me the document related to the warranty contract, and require DealershipServices to send me a copy of the contract.If they file to send them to me, i will notify them by registred mail, if not feedback was received i contact that attonary general to sue them.
    - Get the detailed statement on the payement already made and the ones remaining and finish the payements like we did’nt have heard about the scam.
    My wife think that the second solution would be the less harmful for her credit and for the time she have to waste in court.
    Anyone have an idea to help getting out of that mouse trap?

  15. NYCdave says:

    I think i have been scammed as well….the name of the company that called me was Northamericanwarrentysolutions.com. This never happends to me! They called me from a blocked number and I should have taken the cue and just hung up but i fell for the sales pitch. When i asked the salesman about cancelng he stated all i have to do is call my bank and state that its a fraudulent charge. So I said well that seems a little dramatic why couldnt you just refund the money. He then stated that its easier to do it that way. When i went to make the purchase they recorded it!!!! So then it would seem to my bank that I lied about them not having authrization! SCAMMERS!! Two days later I called them back and tried to cancel, they said they would cancel but i have to write them a letter which i did fax and send certified mail, about two weeks later i got a bill from another company calle CWD or something giving me a statement for 120.00 a month. I called them and told them that I cancelled the policy and to refund my money. They explained that NAWS is the company that has to refund my money. I call and keep speaking to a “Frank” that first tells me that its going to take 30 days to refund my money. I call after 35 days no money, 40 days no money, I call 45 days and he tells me that there is a check waiting to be signed but woouldnt tell me who the owner of the company is. He states that its irrelveant to me who owns the company and hangs up on me. Now im all about doing the right thing and planning on sueing them for the return of my money plus interest. If your going to buy a policy like this which seems to make sense obviously do your dilligence and find out about the company before you send them money. I cant believe that I fell for this…

  16. residentfl says:

    • Got 2 scam mails today. From AWS and Motor Vehicle Services. I knew it was a scam. I have been getting this kind of mail every so often. One thing though, that the dealer try sell this warranty to you ( just happened recently to me), I wrote a letter to the dealer president that I was uneasy about this practice. I had a bad experience with this extended warranty, when I purchased it for my daughter in Boston a few years ago. I better take chances than getting screwed up again.

  17. bslack says:

    I have a warranty from automotive warranty sollutions and it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on!!! No dealer accepted it because they are to difficult to work with. When I finally got a repair service to use them I found out they will only provide used parts for repair and less than one third of the labnor cost. Guess who paid for the rest. Just great. And to think I paid $1700.00 for this deluxe bumper to bumper coverage. i was scamed big time. Stand aside AIG and watch anothe Insurance Company screw their client.