Fake foreclosure notices reported in Sandoval County

Sandoval County residents are getting hit with postcards, phone calls and even home visits threatening that their homes are about to be foreclosed or put up for auction.

The problem has been especially bad within the city of Rio Rancho, although the county assessor and treasurer’s offices have been getting inquiries from all over the county. The calls are “likely fraudulent,” according to a statement by Sandoval County spokeswoman Melissa Perez. In some cases, the mailed notices are followed by a “knock on the door” or a phone call presumably to tell people how to avoid foreclosure, Perez said.

If your home is financed and you have concerns about your payments, contact your financial institution with a number you obtain independently.

Also, Rio Rancho residents can report any such incidents to the police department at 891-7226, and those in unincorporated areas can call the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office at 867-7526.

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Beware the banking scam, which is making regular deposits into local email inboxes this summer.

The state Attorney General’s Office is warning that several New Mexico residents have reported losing money to one of these scams, which tries to dupe people into giving out their account information.

The scammers are plying their trade in this case by email, text and phone, and the basic idea is to get people to a fake bank website that shows this message: “Security Alert: Suspicious Login Noticed.” There’s a link, and consumers are asked to enter their bank information, passwords, debit card numbers and personal identification (PIN) numbers.

“That link was not affiliated with, or under control of the bank, and people who enter the requested information are handing it directly over to scammers,” the AG’s Office says.

Another similar one that’s been making the rounds: a supposed email from Nusenda Credit Union with a subject line that says, “Large Withdrawal Alert.” It has an authentic-looking logo and says that a withdrawal of a particular amount has just been made from your savings account.

The next paragraph says, “If you did not make this withdrawal, Please LOGIN NOW to dispute and recover your money ASAP. Sincerely, Nusenda Credit Union.”

You are supposed to click on a link, which you should definitely not do because Nusenda confirms that this is a scam. One giveaway is checking the address of the sender which is clearly not a Nusenda email address.

“Nusenda Credit Union regularly tells members in our communications that we will never contact members for account numbers, credit card numbers, CVV number, PIN numbers, or any other private information,” the credit union said in a statement.

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The Better Business Bureau has been warning about a transporting business that is accused of bilking people nationwide of more than $30,000.

The BBB says the scammers are using the name of a company that once operated out of Paul, Idaho, called Elk Horn Express Transport. Consumers have reported that they were told to register at www.elkhornexpresstransport.com in order to purchase and transport vehicles they found online, the BBB says. That website is no longer active, and Idaho officials say the company is no longer in business.

One person told the BBB he thought he was buying a classic car from a private seller and received email instructions on sending a payment. The money, he was told, would remain in an escrow account until the vehicle was delivered.

“He never heard back from the seller and lost $11,600 in the process,” the BBB says.

Ellen Marks is assistant business editor at the Albuquerque Journal. Contact her at emarks@abqjournal.com or 505-823-3842 if you are aware of what sounds like a scam. To report a scam to law enforcement, contact the New Mexico Consumer Protection Division toll-free at 1-844-255-9210.