PNM: Phone scammers at it again over Thanksgiving holiday

PNM is warning customers throughout New Mexico to be on the lookout for phone scams during Thanksgiving week.

Graphic courtesy of PNM

PNM is receiving reports from business and residential customers that scammers pretending to be with PNM are claiming customers are behind on their bill and their electricity will be disconnected unless they pay within a small window of time with a pre-paid gift card.

PNM receives spikes in scam reports during the holidays when more people are at home and are dependent on electricity while hosting guests and cooking Thanksgiving meals. Scam reports show that customers went against their better judgement, reacted out of fear and overlooked the red flags, explaining they were afraid to be without power over the holidays.

More than 1,800 scam reports have been reported to PNM this year, with 150 reports so far this month.  Scammers usually demand $200-$500 for residential customers and more than $1,000 for commercial customers.

The tactic usually includes adding a false PNM caller ID name on their phone number to get customers to answer or leaving false call-back numbers. Then when customers return the call, they hear similar on-hold music or pre-recorded messages as PNM uses, duping customers in thinking it is legitimate.

PNM will never demand customers pay their past-due bill with a pre-paid gift card. PNM does not shut off power over the weekend or on holidays.

Customers should check their bill for their current balance. If customers are ever uncertain if a caller is from PNM, hang up and call PNM at 888-DIAL-PNM (888-342-5766).

PNM is working the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center because these fraudsters are using VoIP telecommunication phone lines to scam customers out of money, which is a federal crime. PNM and the FBI are asking New Mexico customers for help by reporting the details of any scammers that may have contacted them to the FBI so the agency can track and analyze them against similar scams and suspects.

Reports can be made at ic3.gov. PNM is also asking customers to report the same information by calling 888-DIAL-PNM.

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