PNM customers target of new phone scam

Posted at: 02/16/2013 7:18 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A new scam is nabbing PNM customers in Albuquerque and other parts of New Mexico.

Linn Cass owns Salon Soteria located in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights. She said on Friday a caller told her she owed PNM’s Disconnect Department $497.95 for a late deposit fee.

The person told her if she did not pay right away, her service would be cut off.

"I immediately flipped out. I said for what,” Cass said. “Why are you going to disconnect me? Because I pay my bills on time. What are you referring to?”

The caller hung up and Cass called PNM.

They told her other people have been called by the possible scammers, and one person took the bait and paid.

The scammers have also asked victims to buy a pre-paid Visa gift card. Cass described how others should handle the scammer.

"Do not get all up in the air about it,” she said. “Be blunt with whoever this guy is that's calling them. Ask the questions, you know, like who are you. Make sure that you write his name down. Get the supervisors name and don't get upset about it.”

But when PNM commented on the issue, they were upset about a breach of trust between them and their customers.

A PNM spokeswoman also gave advice if people receive similar calls.

"The easiest way to be sure that you are not scammed is if somebody from PNM calls you and says we want money from you, give us your credit card, or something like that, hang up and call PNM," Susan Sponar said.

The Albuquerque Police Department’s White Collar Crimes Unit is investigating the scam, however there are no suspects at this time.

Cass plans to file a police report.

"I said string him up,” Cass said. “When you find him, string him up by his toes. Get him out of the way. Because he's interrupting our day. We don't have time for that. My clients don't want to be interrupted. They're paying for my time.”