This is what the call may look like, according to PNM
PNM reported that phone scammers have been calling NM residents and asking them for immediate payment because their electric bill wasn’t paid.
According to enforcement with PNM, scammers are using fake caller ID names that read “PNM.”
Though the majority of scammers call by phone, some have emailed customers.
In 2021, PNM received nearly 1,900 scam reports from PNM customers, with more than 321 reports received in just the month of July. So far in 2022, PNM has received over 350 scam reports from PNM customers and is expecting those numbers to rise during the remainder of the year.
Businesses are also getting hit. The scammers will usually ask for between $200-$1000.
Customers reported getting a call that sounds like: “You haven’t paid your power bill. A PNM technician is on their way right now to turn off your power. It will remain on, though, if you pay the bill with a prepaid card in a specified amount.”
What to watch for according to PNM:
- Scammer has a caller ID that reads PNM
- Scammer may know your name and address
- Scammer will claim you are past-due on your PNM bill
- Scammer will claim a technician is on their way to disconnect your power within 1-hour
- Scammer will demand you pay over the phone to prevent power from being disconnected
- Scammer will only take payment over the phone and will only accept a pre-paid card or an online digital payment such as Zelle.
- If the caller is calling at odd hours, the weekend, or on a holiday, it might be a scam.
What to do if you receive a call from a suspected scammer:
- Check the clock and calendar. PNM does not shut off power over the weekend or on holidays and never disconnects power without providing written notice in advance on your PNM bill. Scammers often call outside of business hours or on the holidays, making it harder for you to verify and causing you to bypass red flags by reacting out of fear.
- Don’t take the claims as truth. Firmly tell them you will contact PNM directly using the number on your bill. Review your PNM bill or go online to check for a disconnect notice. Txt #bal to 78766 to get balance information or call 888-DIAL-PNM (888-342-5766) and use our automated system.
· If the caller demands payment by a prepaid card, gift card, or wiring money, it is a scam. Legitimate companies don’t demand payment by cash reload cards (like MoneyPak, Vanilla, or Reloadit), gift cards (like iTunes or Amazon), online digital payments (like Zelle), or cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin).
· Listen to your instincts. If the caller is convincing, but threatening, simply hang up and initiate contact with PNM yourself.