PNM is receiving reports from residential customers that people claiming to be with PNM are threatening to disconnect their electricity unless a payment is made over the phone using pre-paid gift cards.
PNM received more than 30 scam reports Monday and more than 900 since January. Scammers are primarily targeting customers in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe, but reports have been received throughout New Mexico.
Some scammers have figured out a way to add a false PNM caller ID name and have similar recorded on-hold messaging when customers call the number back. Often times, they target customers on Fridays, threatening disconnection of service over the weekend unless they pay within a small window of time.
Customers may panic and pay up, even when all the signs of a scam are present. However, PNM does not disconnect on weekends or holidays.
PNM is working the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) because these fraudsters are using VoIP telecommunication phone lines to scam customers out of money, which is a federal crime.
Report the details of these scams at ic3.gov and to PNM at 888-DIAL-PNM. Customers should also contact local law enforcement if they feel like their safety is at risk or if they are a victim of fraud.
To avoid being scammed, PNM suggests customers:
- Check their bills. If they’ve have not received a bold disconnect notice on page 1, the phone call is a scam.
- Remember that PNM sometimes calls customers who are past due, but scammers have no way of knowing who those customers are.
- If the caller asks the customer to buy pre-paid gift cards, it’s a scam.
- Anyone who’s uncertain if a caller is from PNM should hand up and call 1-888-DIAL-PNM (1-888-342-5766).