New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission (PRC) on Tuesday issued a warning to natural gas consumers about scam artists who have misrepresented themselves as New Mexico Gas Co. representatives offering to restore utility service for a fee. New Mexico was caught in the extreme cold gripping the Southwest earlier this month, causing well freeze-offs and compressor failures due to power outages (see Daily GPI, Feb. 7). As a result, gas deliveries were curtailed to thousands of customers in New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California supplied through El Paso Natural Gas and Transwestern Pipeline. In New Mexico, where 24,000 customers had their gas services cut off, the PRC commissioners reported that scam artists emerged in the Espanola, NM, area. "Sadly, some unsavory individuals use emergency situations like this recent storm to prey on unsuspecting consumers," said PRC Vice Chairman Jerome Block, who urged gas consumers to contact local law enforcement authorities if they are approached by someone trying to restore gas service for a fee. The PRC said most gas service had been restored in the Taos area, but outages remained in the Espanola area.

©Copyright 2011 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.