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The Artesia Police Department is warning citizens to be vigilant in the face of a scam that surfaced last week in the community.

Four reports were received last week of a person or group of people identifying themselves as employees of Penasco Valley Telecommunications (PVT) visiting the homes of predominantly elderly residents.

According to APD Cmdr. Lindell Smith, the individuals stated they were at the home to fix a problem with the television set or save the resident money on their bill, convincing the residents to let them inside. However, when asked for credentials, the individuals were quick to leave.

“These individuals could be looking for targets for burglaries and other crimes,” said Smith.

PVT has advised the APD of the following:

• They do not make blind service calls.

• Their employees wear shirts reading “PVT” and travel in clearly marked vehicles.

• Citizens with someone claiming to be a PVT employee or service technician at their door may call 748-1241 to verify that person’s identity.

“If citizens feel uncomfortable or uneasy about what is happening with visitors to their home they have not asked for or summonsed, they should call 911 immediately to have the situation looked into,” said Smith. “As has been reported in the past, there are people in the world that are out for personal gain and will take advantage of others, stealing their property, violating their privacy, or worse.”

The APD encourages citizens to protect themselves by potential criminal activities by remaining alert and vigilant concerning suspicious activity and having plans in place to protect themselves, such as neighbors watching out for one another or a home intruder alarm and appropriate home defense options.