ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – PNM is warning New Mexicans to be on the lookout for phone scams as Christmas approaches. PNM says the scammer pretends to be with the company, claiming you are behind on your bill and threatens to disconnect electricity unless a payment is made within the hour with a pre-paid card or electronic transfer.
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According to a news release from PNM, they’re receiving reports that scammers are adding a fake PNM caller ID or adding a 505 prefix on their phone number to get you to answer. They say nearly 1,800 scam reports have been reported this year, with 130 reports received since only last month. PNM says scammers typically demand between $200 to $500 for residential customers and more than $1,000 for business customers with 91 percent of customers saying they were contacted by scammers over the phone versus in-person or over email.
PNM says spikes in scam reports often happen during the holidays when more people are at home and are dependent on electricity while cooking holiday meals. They’re telling customers scammers may call at odd hours or on the weekends or holidays, they will demand you pay over the phone and only take payment over the phone via a pre-paid card, they’ll claim a technician is on their way to disconnect power within the hour, and they may know your name and be calling from a 505-prefix.
If you receive a call from a suspected scammer, Firmly tell them you will contact PNM directly using the number on your bill, and never give banking information over the phone unless you initiate the call. If the caller demands payment by a pre-paid card, gift card, or wiring money, it is a scam. Immediately report all details of the scam, or attempted scam, to PNM at PNM.com/scams and to the FBI at IC3.gov.