ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón, through the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) and the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS), urge New Mexicans to be aware of fraudsters seeking to exploit COVID-19 by taking advantage of vulnerable New Mexicans, particularly non-English speakers in the Refugee and Vietnamese communities, but can also impact Hispanic, and Native American communities.
“Scammers are praying on New Mexico’s most vulnerable communities,” Auditor Colón said. “These predators are targeting non-English communities, taking their money and stealing their personal information. It cannot be stressed enough – do not provide your personal information and do not pay services fees to untrusted sources.”
“Many of the individuals we’re helping are filing for unemployment insurance for the very first time,” said New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley. “Please be cautious of scammers trying to take advantage of the situation.”
No fee: There is no fee to file for unemployment compensation. NMDWS will never ask for a debit card or other method of payment in order to process a claim. If you get a phone call from someone identifying themselves as a representative of NMDWS, do not give any information to the caller or send money.
False websites: Some websites may advertise they can assist claimants in filing for unemployment benefits. These sites may offer services free of charge and others do charge for services. The sites often ask for confidential/private information such as your Social Security number, address, work history, and email address. Use only the official NMDWS website at www.jobs.state.nm.us.
Online surveys: NMDWS does not pay claimants to take surveys. If you receive an email requesting you complete on online survey that appears to be from the State, do not complete the survey. This is likely an attempt to get your personal information. MDWS is actively working on methods to increase accessibility of information to non-English speaking communities throughout New Mexico and has provided a list of community partners throughout the state who are assisting the Department provide necessary translation services.
The OSA and the NMDWS urges non-English speaking New Mexicans to seek support from the following trusted community organizations:
- Lutheran Family Services
- The Asian Family Center
- APS Refugee Program
Additional information for employers and workers affected by COVID-19, including frequently asked questions, can be found at www.dws.state.nm.us/COVID-19-Info.
New Mexicans concerned about COVID-19 related fraud or other scamming activity is urged to immediately file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General at nmag.gov.
New Mexicans concerned about potential instances of fraud, waste, and abuse should contact the Office of the State auditor. Reports may be made anonymously through our website at www.saonm.org or by calling 1.866.OSA.FRAUD. You may also speak to an investigator by calling 505.476.3800.