Attorney General’s Bogus Check Database Update

                                      

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bogus Check Database Update

The AGO’s Consumer Protection Division’s Counterfeit Check Database has been updated to help consumers identify fraudulent checks currently circulating in New Mexico.  Consumers can view a variety of bogus checks at http://www.nmag.gov/checkscams/default.aspx
Fraudulent checks that have been added today to the AG’s Counterfeit Check Database today range in amount from about $1,760 to $7,200. Attorney General Gary King received such a check (for $7,200), mailed to him at the Santa Fe AG’s office address. Generally, potential victims are expected to cash the check and remit a portion back to the sender. Unfortunately, if a victim’s banking institution cashes the check and it is later found to be fraudulent, the victim can be liable for the entire amount of the check. Citizens who suspect that they have received a fraudulent check can scan the check and email it to communications@nmag.gov.

AG King’s Consumer Protection Division has staff members who are trained
to identify fraudulent checks.  
The simplest way for consumers to protect themselves if they receive a suspicious and/or unexpected check is to not cash the check. Each year New Mexico victims each lose an average of more than $3,000 to counterfeit check scams.

Consumers may also mail suspicious checks to:

Office of New Mexico Attorney General Gary K. King
Consumer Protection Division
408 Galisteo St.
Santa Fe, NM  87501 

A PDF OF THREE COUNTERFEIT CHECKS IS ATTACHED JUST BELOW;

CheckScan001[11

Phil Sisneros

Director of Communications
Office of NM Attorney General
Gary K. King
505-827-6792 SF
505-222-9174 ABQ

505-231-5846 Cell

NM Attorney General SCAM Alert (Time-Shares)

POSTED AS AN AREA SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT

TIME-SHARE SCAM

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King‘s Consumer Protection Division has received a complaint about a time-share scam that resulted in the loss of several thousand dollars for one New Mexico victim. 

Accordingly, Attorney General King is alerting the public that Market Value Properties contacts owners of time-shares and offers to assist them in the sale of time-share interest. The firm advises the owner that they are working with an escrow company that will serve as the agent for the transfer of money. Diamond International Escrow is the escrow company. Both companies are fraudulent. While the companies list addresses in Little Rock, Arkansas, these addresses are also fraudulent. The companies use a Website to enhance the legitimacy of their solicitation. The Website host operates from outside the United States.

As part of the “sale”, the owner is asked to pay a series of fees – that may or may not have been disclosed up front. Once the fees are paid, the company stops contact and the “sale” does not occur, nor are any proceeds of a “sale” sent to the time-share owner.

Owners of timeshares located outside of the United States should take extra precautions to avoid these scams. If you are contacted about buying or selling timeshares without initiating that contact, the Attorney General’s Office advises you to thoroughly check out the company prior to sending any money.

If you are a victim of one of these scams, please report it to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Secret Service. 

Lynn Southard
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of New Mexico Attorney General
Gary K. King
111 Lomas Blvd NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
505 222-9048 office
505 231-4731 cell

Email: lsouthard@nmag.gov

NM Attorney General Scam Alert ((7/29/11)

POSTED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT

Friday, July 29, 2011

ATTENTION MEDIA:
Please find below the latest Scams & Frauds reported to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office during July 2011 via the communications@nmag.gov email address.


Pet Scam:

New Mexicans are encouraged to use caution when searching the Internet for the perfect pet to take home to the family.  One consumer ran into a scam artist who was using “Yorkie-Poo’s” as a part of their
ploy.  The email correspondence became curious after the initial inquiry. The return email from the scammer follows here:
Hello, The entire Home is over whelm with gladness having you as an interested person in our lovely babies. Our whole family love pets, My Husband and I were both pet lovers since child hood, Animals have been the most closest members of our family,treated with so much care since they are God’s creatures and deserve our love and attention. Our dream is to see our puppies go to a pet loving homes were they would receive all their love,affection and attention which they need in the world. My family love and adore these little dollys. We bought this puppies so they could grow up together with our 2 year old daughter and be a part of our family for ever. We understand you might be wondering our objective of giving out our babies, MIMI and DIDI away despite the fact that they are angels.This is due to the fact that we are out of state at the moment and What makes us willing to give out the puppies up for adoption is that we are presently on a Volunteer mission for the World Health Organization (WHO) on the Eradication of the Malaria Parasite on pregnant Women and Children in western region ofCameroon, the pregnant women here are suffering with this disease so much so that we decided to go on Volunteer and the WHO was our catch since we loved helping Sick people, Our duty here is tight up that we even regret bringing the Puppiesover with us. So we will very much happy given them out back to the State for adoption as soon as possible to reduce our work load..We are looking for reasonable, knowledgeable and cautious person who can offer them tenderness, nursery with lots of love kisses and hugs to pay just a Re-homing and transportation fee of $365 for both puppies. Although it is a hard decision to make,This has made us very sick and tired not even knowing what step to take next. Our minds have been made up to go into a search for a new and perfect home for this little Babies.Their vet records are all intact, play toys,leash,shots are current.She would come with a handbook which explains her life style as well as feeding habits. More also,We would be very happy and satisfy If you can get back to us with some details about the Family our baby would be Spending the rest of her live with.
Attached to this mail are some of her most recently pics hope you love it.
To begin we shall like to know more about you..

-Are you a breeder?

-Are you familiar with Yorkie Puppy?
-Do you have kids?
-Do you have a Vet Doctor?
-How Old are You?
-What is your occupation?
-Give us a Brief Description about your Environment?
-Were exactly are you located?
-Can I have your Phone Number to call you?
-Will you Take Both Puppies? Sorry for all this Questions (we mean not to offend you) but just that we really need a loving and caring home for these puppies.

 

 

What are some of the clues that this email’s author is a scammer? Poor grammar, misspellings, and syntax in the email are red flags.  The scammer goes on a “phishing” expedition as the scammer’s email comes to a close. The scammer is seeking personal and private information that could be used to steal the consumers identity.  Consumers who would like to learn how to protect their identity can find the AG’s Identity Theft Prevention and Repair Kit on the New Mexico Attorney General’s Web site at: http://nmag.gov/publications/ and at all three offices in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe.

Los Conchas Fire Victims Scam:
New Mexicans reported to the AG’s office receiving fraudulent cell and home phone “robo-calls” purporting to be the Red Cross asking for financial donations to benefit Los Alamos Fire victims. During the call, the scammers requested personal and private information, including credit card and bank account details.  

Red Cross New Mexico confirmed this was a scam.  The local Web site can be accessed at http://redcrossnewmexico.org/



Grandparents Scam:
The “Grandparents Scam” reared its ugly head again in New Mexico last month causing vigilant consumers to report the fraudulent activity to the AG’s office. 

The scam is designed to pull on the heart strings of the elderly.  The scammer poses as the “panicked” grandchild in a foreign country, places the call filled with static, and asks for money to be wired via Western Union or MoneyGram immediately.  The type of “emergency” the poser uses varies.

Grandparents receiving the call should contact their grandchild at their usual phone number first and check with other family members to confirm their whereabouts before sending funds.

The AG’s Don’t Get Burned: How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off booklet is again available at all AGOs.  Scams discussed and explained include:
  • Telemarketing
  • Lottery & Sweepstakes
  • Nigerian/419
  • Counterfeit Check
  • Phishing, Vishing, and Pharming
  • Imposter
  • Door-to-Door Sales
  • Home Repair
  • Travel
  • Investment & Securities


Helpful resources round-out this 39-page booklet available to consumers free of charge.
Steady numbers of scams and potential scams continue to be reported by New Mexico consumers who are being contacted by solicitors requesting detailed personal information to claim various prizes such as sweepstakes and lottery winnings.  Similar requests were made by scammers attempting to defraud consumers by playing to their sympathies with stories involving a “relative who has recently passed” or by appealing to people’s desire to make a fast buck with “a business deal that will increase your personal finances.”

Private information being sought includes some combination of the following:  

  • full name;
  • address; gender;
  • marital status;
  • occupation;
  • email address;
  • home, cell/fax number;
  • nationality;
  • credit card or social security number.

Consumers can report potential scams to communications@nmag.gov, however consumers are urged NOT to use the word “scam” in the subject line of their email.  The AGO’s spam filter blocks all suspicious email messages. Reporting a possible scam in this fashion is not equivalent to filing a complaint with the AG’s Consumer Protection Division.  To file an official complaint, access a complaint form online at http://nmag.gov/office/Divisions/CP/complaint.aspx or visit any one of our three offices in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces.

HOW CONSUMERS CAN HELP PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM SCAMMERS:
1.  Do not wire money to anyone unless you are absolutely sure it is someone you know and trust.  Once wired funds are picked up, there is very little law enforcement can do to retrieve the money.
2.  Unless you made the contact, do not give out your personal information.
3.  Do not send a check, cash, or money order to anyone insisting upfront immediate payment before a service is rendered and never give out your account information.
4.  When selling anything online, beware of anyone who wants to overpay and asks you to reimburse the difference.

For more helpful consumers tips, all of the AGO’s Consumer Protection
Division booklets and pamphlets can be viewed at www.nmag.gov/publications or picked up at any of the three offices across the state.


REMINDERS:
1. Intake hours for walk-in consumer complaints are Monday through Friday 10:00 AM-3:00 PM.  Appointments can be set by calling 1-800-678-1508.
2.  Consumer complaint forms can be picked up at all three NMAGO’s as well as online at http://www.nmag.gov/office/Divisions/CP/complaint.aspxTo subscribe to the Attorney General’s SCAM ALERTS, log on to: http://www.nmag.gov/Articles/scamalerts.aspx

                                                            

Lynn Southard
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of New Mexico Attorney General
Gary K. King
111 Lomas Blvd NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
505 222-9048 office
505 231-4731 cell
Email: lsouthard@nmag.gov

AG Scam Alert-Los Alamos Fire Victims

POSTED AS AN AREA SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT

                                       

Wednesday, June 29, 2011                               Follow us on Facebook!

 
SCAM: FRAUDULENT PHONE CALLS PURPORTING TO BE THE RED CROSS SOLICITING MONEY TO BENEFIT LOS ALAMOS FIRE VICTIMS.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Unknown 

OVERVIEW:  Consumers are reporting to the AG’s office and Red Cross New Mexico they are receiving automated “robo-calls” asking for financial contributions to benefit victims of the Los Alamos fire.  Personal information is requested during the call.

PREVENTIONRed Cross New Mexico has confirmed they are NOT soliciting funds via robo-calls to benefit victims of the Los Alamos fire.  Consumers who receive this type of fraudulent call should not share any private and personal information that is requested.  


Scam calls and phone numbers related to these calls can be reported to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and Red Cross New Mexico.


Contact Red Cross New Mexico directly to find out how to give legitimate donations.

To UNSUBSCRIBE to this list, please send an e-mail to communications@nmag.gov

                                                                             

Lynn Southard
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of New Mexico Attorney General
Gary K. King
111 Lomas Blvd NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
505 222-9048 office
505 231-4731 cell
Email: lsouthard@nmag.gov

Attorney General’s Consumer Advisory For March 2, 2011

POSTED AS A COMMUNITY SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING SCAMS

_CONSUMER_ADVISORY_Feb_3_2_11 (1)

The Great Seal of the State of New Mexico

Image via Wikipedia

GadaboutBlogalot Editor’s Note: Here is some information about the Irish Travelers.  I know of a restaurant (now closed) in Moriarty which suffered the loss of $5,000 with a scam paving job many years ago.  I have had at least three visits from them in the almost 26 years I have lived in Edgewood.  Click on this link to read one website that provides a great deal on them.  You can also google the group and related groups to find more on their scams and victims.

Here’s another link with additional resources … click here.

Attorney General’s SCAM Alert (2/8/11)

POSTED AS A COMMUNITY SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT

 

 

Monday, February 7, 2011 Follow us on Facebook!

SCAM:  Text Message Credit Card Scam 

 

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Unknown

OVERVIEW: Consumers have alerted the New Mexico Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to the latest financial institution text messaging scam today.  Sandia Area Federal Credit Union members and non-members alike are being targeted in New Mexico.


The text message states the recipient’s credit card has been deactivated, urging the consumer to call a phone number to verify their account information.


PREVENTION: Consumers should not reply to this text message.  Any response could result in identity theft or financial loss.


Educational publications such as Don’t Get Burned: Your Guide to Scams and the Identity Theft Prevention and Repair Kit are available on the AGO’s Web site at www.nmag.gov/publications and at the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces.

 

Lynn Southard
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of New Mexico Attorney General
Gary K. King
111 Lomas Blvd NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
505 222-9048 office
505 231-4731 cell
Email: lsouthard@nmag.gov

 

 

v

Attorney General’s Scam Alert For 01/19/2011

POSTED AS A COMMUNITY SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT

 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 Follow us on Facebook!

SCAM: Health Inspector Scam

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Unknown 

 

OVERVIEW: The New Mexico Environmental Health Division has reported to  AG Gary King’s Consumer Protection Division that the latest version of the “Health Inspector” scam is making its way into restaurants statewide.


Posing as health inspectors from the “State Health Department” and the “United States Department of Agriculture,” scammers are calling restaurant employees in Alamogordo, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Clovis, and Deming stating they have “had a complaint” and will be visiting their establishment “today.”


During the discussion, the scammer instructs the restaurant employee to “hang up the phone” so as to receive another call that will “provide ID numbers of the inspectors.”


The subsequent call is automated and provides a “craigslist password”  while another reported call requests credit card machine numbers.


PREVENTION: Though it is not clear the specific intent of the calls, the “Health Inspector” scammers appear to be phishing for credit card numbers and personal information.


Individuals receiving this type of call are asked to report the activity to their local law enforcement agency and the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office at communications@nmag.gov.


Reminder:  The United States Department of Agriculture and State of New Mexico Health Inspectors will never ask for any type of payment or credit card information.

 

###

Lynn Southard
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of New Mexico Attorney General
Gary K. King
111 Lomas Blvd NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
505 222-9048 office
505 231-4731 cell
Email: lsouthard@nmag.gov

NM Attorney General’s Scam Alert

POSTED AS AN AREA SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT

 


 

Friday, December 31, 2011
Scams & Frauds…December 2010
The following is a summary of some of the scams and frauds reported to New Mexico Attorney General Gary King’s Office during the month of December 2010.

FACEBOOK SCAM:
A New Mexico news photographer experienced first hand what it is like to be a part of a fraudulent online money-making scheme.  As reported to the New Mexico Attorney General’s office, scammers can show up anywhere….even on Facebook.com.

While surfing the Internet, this Albuquerque man discovered a very dear friend had been “mugged in London, left without a dime to her name, and needed his help”—financially.  Not wanting to be a scam victim, he quickly asked some personal questions to verify the validity of the request.  He soon discovered he was chatting with a scammer.

The story in its entirety can be seen at http://www.koat.com/video/26123519/detail.html

Consumers receiving requests that do not seem quite right from a familiar person should follow their instincts, do a little research, and be confident the person contacting them is who they claim to be.

FINANCIAL INSTITUTION SCAM:
This month, Southwest Federal Credit Union in Albuquerque alerted the AG’s Office to a text messaging scam targeting members and non-members in New Mexico.

The text read: SOUTHWEST FCU NOTICE: Your CARD starting with 4906 has been DEACTIVATED. Please call 505-504-5760.

Southwest Federal Credit Union asks that neither members or non-members respond to the text but does ask victims to contact their credit union immediately. This text messaging was similar to scams reported by Del Norte Credit Union, Guadalupe Credit Union and many others others.

ONLINE DATING SCAM:

Though featured on Good Morning America and 20/20, Chemistry.com is yet another breeding ground for scammers.  The AG’s office was contacted last month by a woman who fell victim to an online dating scammer.


“He said he lost his wallet on the plane and wanted me to send him $500 western union, I emailed back …. No sooner did he call to try tell me whatever… I told him I googled the address he gave me and what came up. As I was suspicious from the start, he knew of my suspicions as I brought them to his attention.  He told me I was stupid and hung up.”

The scammer used a name and address of a real Albuquerque resident.  The phone number the scammer used was for a collection agency in North Carolina.

Consumers who want to protect themselves from being scammed online should only share their personal and private information with individuals and businesses they know and trust.

PHISHING, NIGERIAN, & LOTTERY SCAMS:

Steady numbers of scams and potential scams continue to be reported by New Mexico consumers who are being contacted by solicitors requesting detailed personal information to claim various prizes such as sweepstakes and lottery winnings.


Similar requests were made by scammers attempting to defraud consumers by playing to their sympathies with stories involving a “relative who has recently passed” or by appealing to people’s desire to make a fast buck with “a business deal that will increase your personal finances.”


Private information being sought after includes some combination of the following:

  • full name;
  • address; gender;
  • marital status;
  • occupation;
  • email address;
  • home, cell/fax number;
  • nationality;
  • credit card or social security number.


Phishing, Nigerian, and Lottery scams were received by the AG’s Office daily in November from sharp New Mexicans who know a scam when they see one in their email inbox, mailbox, or via telephone.  Offers that are too good to be true can be reported to communications@nmag.gov.

 


 


DECEMBER NOVEMBER OCTOBER
Phishing
115 111 170
Nigerian
28 44 85
Lottery
18 19
31


 


Consumers should not share personal information, i.e., their credit report, social security or credit card numbers with anyone unless the consumer has initiated the discussion.



REMINDERS:
1. Intake hours for walk-in consumer complaints are Monday through Friday 10:00 AM-3:00 PM.  Appointments can be set by calling 1-800-678-1508.
2. Consumer complaint forms can be picked up at all three NMAGO’s as well as online at http://www.nmag.gov/office/Divisions/CP/complaint.aspx

To subscribe to the Attorney General’s SCAM ALERTS, log on to: http://www.nmag.gov/Articles/scamalerts.aspx

###


Lynn Southard
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of New Mexico Attorney General
Gary K. King
111 Lomas Blvd NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
505 222-9048 office
505 231-4731 cell
Email: lsouthard@nmag.gov

Scam Alert from NM Attorney General

POSTED AS AN AREA SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT



 

Monday, December 27, 2010 Follow us on Facebook!

SCAM: “Goodwill Industries of New Mexico/Salvation Army” Sweepstakes 

 

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UNKNOWN 

 

OVERVIEW: Con artists reportedly are contacting consumers via telephone and the U.S. Postal Service in an attempt to carry out a familiar “Sweepstakes” scam using Goodwill Industries of New Mexico and the Red Cross to legitimize their fraudulent activity.


HOW THE SCAM WORKS:

The scammer calls the unsuspecting consumer, claiming to be ready to award $800,000 from Goodwill Industries of New Mexico and the Salvation Army to the “lucky winner.”  The only catch is the consumer must send an $800 fee before the winnings can be released.


A consumer in Indiana tells the New Mexico AG’s office that when she informed the scammers that she did not have $800 to send them, they offered to send her $3,100 up front to help her pay the fee.  The check received by the consumer was confirmed to be fraudulent by a local financial institution.


PREVENTION: Consumers receiving calls and/or checks similar to these should not share any personal information with the scammer but should report it to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.


Goodwill Industries of New Mexico confirms they are not sponsoring nor participating in any kind of national sweepstakes.

 

Lynn Southard
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of New Mexico Attorney General
Gary K. King
111 Lomas Blvd NW
Suite 300
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
505 222-9048 office
505 231-4731 cell
Email: lsouthard@nmag.go

Related Articles

    New Mexico Attorney General’s Scam Alert

    POSTED AS A COMMUNITY SERVICE BY GADABOUT-BLOGALOT

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 Follow us on Facebook!
    Albuquerque’s Southwest Federal Credit Union alerted the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office today to the latest financial institution text messaging scam targeting members and non-members in New Mexico.
    The text reads: SOUTHWEST FCU NOTICE: Your CARD starting with 4906 has been DEACTIVATED. Please call 505-504-5760.

    There have been reports of other fraudulent phone numbers.

    DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS TEXT.  CONTACT SOUTHWEST FEDERAL CREDIT UNION TO REPORT AT 505-243-6751.
    Southwest Federal Credit Union has received more than 100 calls as of 4:30PM today from members and non-members.

    Members who have shared their personal information as a result of this type of text message scam are encouraged to visit their Southwest Federal Credit Union branch to report and change passwords on accounts.

    ###

    Lynn Southard
    Deputy Director of Communications
    Office of New Mexico Attorney General
    Gary K. King
    111 Lomas Blvd NW
    Suite 300
    Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
    505 222-9048 office
    505 231-4731 cell

    Email: