Unemployment scammers

Auditor Brian Colón, through the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) and the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS), recently released a statement urging New Mexicans to be aware of fraudsters seeking to exploit COVID-19 by taking advantage of vulnerable New Mexicans.

"Scammers are praying on New Mexico's most vulnerable communities," said Colón in a news release. "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."

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.

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.

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.

The OSA and the NMDWS urges non-English speaking New Mexicans to seek support from the following trusted community organizations:

Lutheran Family Services - lfsrm.org

The Asian Family Center - nmafc.org

APS Refugee Program - aps.edu

New Mexicans concerned about COVID-19 related fraud or other scamming activity are urged to immediately file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General at nmag.gov.

There's an app for that …

New Mexico has announced the launch of a new COVID-19 exposure app for smartphones.

When activated on a smartphone, the app alerts individuals when they have been exposed to someone who has verified that they are infected with COVID-19.

"This is a powerful tool in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. We strongly encourage the public to activate the NM Notify app on your iPhone or Android phone," said NMDOH Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins in a news release. "In combination with vaccination, testing and continued COVID-safe practices, this app will help us contain COVID-19 and protect New Mexicans."

Once downloaded, the app uses bluetooth technology to communicate with other phones that have activated the app. Then, if one of the users verifies an infection of COVID-19, all users that have been in contact with the infected person within a 14-day period will receive a notification of possible exposure. The app then directs users on next steps to prevent additional spread of COVID-19.

To learn more about the NM Notify Exposure Notification app, go to NMNotify.com.

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