Scam alert—but this one is a little different. A company calls offering you an extended warranty. Where other scams just want your personal information and then they disappear, this one is semi-legitimate. You actually get something for your money, but it may not be what you paid for.

Not everyone is an expert on cars, so when someone calls saying your warranty is about to expire, you tend to believe them.

“It’s a scam, in a sense, where it borders between being a civil matter and criminal matter. They are offering you a product, but what you get in return is very substandard,” says Sgt. Joe Mahoney.

This third party company calls or sends a flier in the mail saying your warranty is up and you should buy one of their extended warranties. This can be a bad idea for two reasons.

“You may already be covered, number one, so you may be purchasing something that you don’t even need. Second, there’s always a huge question of what’s going to be covered and what’s not going to be covered,” says Kari Ritz with Koby Subaru.

These kinds of warranties are not condoned by car manufacturers. And it’s anybody’s guess what they are actually able to cover. In fact, you may end up paying for no coverage at all.

“Because they’re smaller, one claim can wipe them out and you go to use your coverage and there’s nothing, they’re no longer in business, they have moved on,” says Ritz.

Dealerships are warning their customers about this—There is a warning written up on display at Eastern Shore Hyundai.

And if you really do want to get your warranty extended…

“Go through your dealership and that way you know you’re protected, you’re safe and it’s a legitimate deal,” says Mahoney.

Experts say you will never get a notice from a dealership about when your warranty is up—that’s for you to monitor yourself. As always, call police or even the dealership you bought your vehicle from if you have any questions.