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Let your thirst for bargain beer stop here

You might feel in these quarantine times that you need beer, and lots of it.

However, Heineken – or any other beer producer for that matter – is not giving away four free kegs.

People are reporting getting text messages or seeing social media ads that promise the freebies if you click a link and complete a survey, according to Scam Detector. www.scam-detector.com/

This is a phishing effort to either install malware into your computer or persuade you to give up personal information.

Tip: BYOB. (Buy your own beer.)

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There’s a new utility scam making the rounds, and it could ruin your weekend if you fall for it.

These bogus calls appear to come from Public Service Company of New Mexico, and there is a surge of them happening on Saturdays and Sundays, the utility says.

Both residential and business customers are getting the calls, which mimic a real PNM call, a company news release said. Sometimes, the scammers leave false call-back numbers.

The scenario is that you have a past due balance, so your electricity will be disconnected unless you pay up on a pre-paid gift card. You have to do it within an hour. When people return the fake PNM call, they hear an on-hold message that’s similar to the utility’s, although it has low sound quality.

Weekends are their target time because PNM is closed then, “making it more difficult to verify the scammer’s claims,” the news release said. They are demanding between $200 and $500 for homeowners and more than $1,000 for commercial customers.

PNM says it has gotten more than 930 scam reports this year, 400 of which were reported in April.

Remember that PNM never demands that customers pay with a pre-paid gift card, nor does it shut off power on weekends or holidays.

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If you use a digital wallet app like Venmo, PayPal or Apple Pay, be aware of the latest fraud.

It starts when someone you don’t know sends you several hundred dollars via Venmo, then messages you and says it was a mistake and asks you to send the money back.

Don’t do it.

Scammers are connecting stolen credit cards to Venmo and using them to make what looks like a payment to “unsuspecting users,” according to the Better Business Bureau. The stolen card is overdrawn, though, so no actual money has been put into your account.

If you comply with their request, you will have to cover the payment with your own money.

The scammers’ next step is to delete the stolen credit card from their account and add their own card instead. That way, the money you transferred goes to their personal card.

Protect yourself from digital wallet fraud by transferring funds only to people you know. If you get an accidental payment, ask the payer to cancel the transaction rather than returning the money.

Contact Ellen Marks 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​.

 

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