Beware of scam

DEL NORTE — Rio Grande County Clerk Cindy Hill reported that a taxpayer recently received a phone call demanding a payment related to motor vehicles and threatening arrest, which did not come from her office.

“The Rio Grande County Clerk and Recorder’s office will never call a resident to demand payment or threaten to have the sheriff arrest them,” Hill said. “Feel free to call me if you need more information.”

Hill went on to describe the taxpayer’s encounter with the scammer.

“We received a call from a woman, who said her mother got a call from the ‘Rio Grande County Clerk & Recorder,’ demanding payment for something to do with motor vehicles,” Hill said. “The mother put the call on speakerphone so I could hear the conversation.”

Hill shared what transpired next: The woman, who was scamming, said, “For the 15th time, I’m telling you, my name is Karen Maes and I am calling from the Rio Grande County Clerk & Recorder’s office and if you do not pay this amount, the sheriff will come arrest you.”

When the daughter asked what the scammer’s phone number was, “The scammer said, “We have call centers all over the United States and I don’t know what this number is.”

The mother, who was one of the victims of the scam, said her phone showed the scammer’s number as ... “our number on her phone.”

Hill said she assured the daughter that it was a scam and to hang up and not answer the phone again, and the daughter also asked if she should report it to the police.

Hill’s reply to the daughter was: “I told her that was a good idea.”