BOSQUE FARMS — A recent uptick in calls about scams prompted the Bosque Farms Police Department interim chief to issue a reminder to residents to not share personal information.
“We’ve observed an increase in calls for service in the last few months from residents in regards to phone calls requesting personal information, like Social Security numbers, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers,” said interim chief Andrew Owen at the Aug. 20 village council meeting.
The scam artists are pretending to be from different government agencies, such as the Social Security office, law enforcement agencies and the IRS, Owen said.
“They are demanding personal information to avoid arrest or financial garnishments,” he said. “These agencies will not call you on the phone and ask you to identify yourself. You’ll get an official letter asking you to call them, or they will talk to you in person at your home.”
Other scam calls include ones pretending to be from Publisher’s Clearing House, a person’s credit card company, offering student loan forgiveness, a warranty on your vehicle or a utility company offering a better rate, Owen said.
“Legitimate companies will not ask you to provide your full, personal information,” the interim chief said. “A legitimate company or agency will ask for partial information — the last four numbers of your social or part of your date of birth. Never the whole thing.”
Some impersonators are out on foot, going door to door, pretending to be utility workers from companies such as PNM. Owen reminded residents representatives of legitimate companies will have identification that is easily visible and be driving a clearly marked vehicle.
“There is also a strict village ordinance against door-to-door sales from private companies,” he said. “If you have any questions about the legitimacy of the people you are talking to, hang up the phone and call the company back at the number on the last statement you have from them.
“If the impersonator is on your property, close and lock your door, and call the police department immediately.”
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.