New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

IRS scam

State Attorney General Hector Balderas is warning New Mexicans about scam callers targeting consumers with aggressive phone calls, posing as IRS agents.

Those scam calls range from threats of monetary penalties for lack of tax payments to threats of immediate arrest.

“No matter who calls threatening to represent the IRS, I’m urging New Mexicans not to send any money to these scammers,” Balderas said. “Inevitably, they are out to get unsuspecting people to send them money — for absolutely nothing. If the IRS believes you owe money, you will be notified in writing in the mail.” 

The Office of the Attorney General offers advocates to help consumers who encounter scams, faulty products and broken promises. Balderas advises those who need help to fill out a consumer complaint form on his website at nmag.gov or to call toll-free at 1-844-255-9210.

Sweepstakes scam

Attorney General Hector Balderas is warning New Mexicans that scammers are targeting senior citizens by telling them they’ve won money.

As part of the scam, callers tell seniors they have won a sweepstakes or lottery. Those seniors are told to keep their winnings confidential. 

The consumers receive checks in the mail, but those checks don’t match the company that called. The scammers tell them to deposit the phony checks and to make a phone call in which they are told to purchase a gift card or to send a check to cover fees.

“In cases like this, if it seems too good to be true, it often is,” Balderas said. “These scam artists are going out of their way to attack our senior citizens.”

The Attorney General urges all consumers not to cash the check they may receive based on a scam phone call, and not to release any personal or financial information to scammers.  If a consumer doubts whether a call is legitimate, he or she can contact the Better Business Bureau or the Consumer and Family Advocacy Services Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

Citizens are also encouraged to contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the lottery scam. To report to FTC, file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint and include “Lottery scam phone call” in the subject line of the complaint.