ALBUQUERQUE ― Attorney General Hector Balderas has issued an alert, as scammers target senior citizens in New Mexico.
As part of the scam, callers tell seniors they have won a sweepstakes or lottery. Those seniors are told to keep their lottery 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. New Mexicans need to be on guard, as scammers will stop at nothing to get to your wallet.”
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, the caller can contact the Better Business Bureau or the Consumer and Family Advocacy Services Division of the Attorney General’s Office.
Callers are also encouraged to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the lottery scam. To report to FTC, consumers can file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint and include “Lottery scam phone call” in the subject line of the complaint.
The Office of Attorney General Hector Balderas offers advocates to help consumers who encounter scams, faulty products and broken promises. The Attorney General advises those who need help to fill out a consumer complaint form on his website at www.nmag.gov or to call 717-3500 in Albuquerque or 490-4060 in Santa Fe and toll-free statewide 1.844.255.9210.