Alert: Some electric customers target of ‘shut off’ scam

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New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is warning Taos-area electric customers of a new scam from callers pretending to represent Kit Carson Electric Co-op.

According to complaints received from area customers, the scammers often use the phone number 800-403-9430, ext. 230, though they have also used other phone ID numbers, according to a Thursday (Sept. 28) press release from the attorney general's office.

"The scam callers are known to threaten customers that technicians are en route to disconnect service. Kit Carson customers are told to go to Smith's Grocery Stores, buy a prepaid cash card, and then call back with the number to ensure that their electric service continues," according to the release.

 "Kit Carson has stated it will never ask customers to buy prepaid cards or money cards. In addition, Kit Carson provides all notices of disconnection in writing, through the mail-never by phone," Attorney General Balderas said.

"This scam could have a terrible impact, but I'm counting on New Mexicans to let their friends and families know about it to prevent financial information and money being stolen," he said.

The attorney general's office offered the following information if an electric customer gets a call from a person pretending to be from Kit Carson Electric Co-op:

- Do not respond to the call. Tell the caller you will call him or her back, then hang up and call the Co-op at (575)758-2258 or 800-688-6780.

- If you are worried, ask the Co-op to provide you with your account number and past-due amount, which should match your most recent bill.

- Never provide a phone caller pretending to be from Kit Carson Electric Co-op your personal or account information.

- Do not buy a Moneypak, Green Dot, or any other prepaid card in order to pay your electric Co-op bill. Call Kit Carson Electric at (575)758-2258 or 800-688-6780 to see if you owe money.

- Check your bill. If you are in danger of having your service disconnected, your recent billing statement will have the information written in bold on the front page.

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