Public Service Company of New Mexico is warning customers to be wary of phone scams during Thanksgiving week.

The company is receiving reports about scammers using a false PNM caller ID name, according to a news release.

PNM said those who respond to messages left by the scammer hear a recorded message that threatens to disconnect a customer’s electricity within an hour unless they provide payment with a prepaid gift card or an online digital payment.

Scammers typically target residential customers in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Belen and Silver City and demand between $200 and $500. Business customers are asked for $1,000. The spikes usually occur during the holidays when more people are home, PNM said.

PNM encourages customers never to give banking information over the phone unless you initiate the call to a number you know is legitimate. The company does not demand banking information by email or phone and does not force payment by phone as a customer’s only option.

A demand for payment by prepaid card, gift card or wiring money is a scam, the company says.

PNM is working with the FBI and asks customers to report details of any scammers. Reports can be made at www.ic3.gov.

(3) comments

david cartwright

I've received a few calls threatening from "PGE" threatening to turn off my gas for nonpayment. PGE is a utility in northern California, and my Santa Fe home has propane, but not natural gas. Still, it took me a minute or so to figure it out. Een though these frauds seem obvious, I think we can all be fooled on some scam. Be wary. The feds do nothing about this, kind of like their enforcement of the so-called no-call list law.

Charlotte Rowe

When I get such calls if I actually pick up and speak someone, I just tell them that they are mistaken, we don't have electricity at our house. Then I ask them whose electricity they are talking about. What is the address on the account. What is the name associated with the account......keep them talking. Then after a few minutes, thank them profusely for staying on the line because they just gave the FBI enough time to trace the call and they should be hearing from law enforcement soon. I have no idea whether this rattles them or not, but I do know that they suffer serious penalties by the crooks who run the scam, if they spend a lot of time on a single call. So I try to drag it out as long as poosible, hoping to ruin their day.

Carl Friedrichs

Thanks Charlotte for your help in reducing criminals impact on law abiding folks. I’m chuckling a little bit, I kind of want to have call forwarding from my phone to yours.

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