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NMDWS News Release - June 5, 2020: NMDWS warns of scams regarding unemployment insurance

For Immediate Release

June 5, 2020

Contact: Stacy Johnston

Acting Public Information Officer

505.250.3926

NMDWS warns of scams regarding unemployment insurances

(Albuquerque, NM) The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) warns Unemployment Insurance claimants to beware of scammers who may be seeking to steal personal information and/or Unemployment Insurance benefits. Be aware of potential fraud and only use the official website to file an online claim.

These individuals or groups may represent themselves as legitimate entities and will promise that they can obtain unemployment benefits on a claimant’s behalf. They may try to charge a fee for this service.

Please know that the ONLY legitimate way to file for Unemployment Insurance benefits in New Mexico is through the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, either online at www.jobs.state.nm.us or by calling 1-877-664-6984. There is NEVER a charge to file for unemployment insurance benefits.

“We truly understand how hard this situation has been and are working as hard as we can to get resources to New Mexicans,” said Bill McCamley, NMDWS Secretary. “It is heartbreaking to know that criminals are taking advantage of a pandemic to steal people’s information. But they are, so we highly encourage people to be vigilant and careful.”

Keep in mind the following information in order to prevent fraud related to Unemployment Insurance:

No fee: There is NEVER a fee to file for unemployment insurance. 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 send money. If an overpayment is due and you are still collecting UI, future weekly benefits will be reduced to cover the overpayment. The Department will never directly withdraw funds from your bank account.

False websites: Several websites advertise that they can assist claimants in filing for unemployment benefits. Some of these sites offer services free of charge and others charge for services. These 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 www.jobs.state.nm.us to file for unemployment. For accurate information about Unemployment Insurance, please visit www.dws.state.nm.us. NMDWS does not work with or endorse any private service claiming that they can assist applicants to apply for benefits.

Direct message on social media: Other states have reported that claimants on Facebook are being contacted by individuals claiming to be Unemployment Insurance representatives through a private message. Only the official NMDWS social media accounts will direct message claimants: we will never have individual department representatives contact you on social media. While we will often send private messages to help individuals get answers to their Unemployment Insurance questions, and we have been asking for the last four digits of the claimant's Social Security number or claimant ID number, we will no longer ask for that information. Do not give your personal information to anyone through social media, including Facebook Messenger.

Personal documents: Some fraudsters will ask claimants to upload a copy of their driver's license, birth certificate, tax information, etc., to a website or ask claimants to send copies of those documents to an email address. NMDWS will not ask you to submit any type of document to us by email – instead, you will be asked to fax, mail, or securely upload your documents on the official website at www.jobs.state.nm.us. Documents with personal information should only be faxed to (505) 841-8636 or mailed to New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, PO Box 1928, Albuquerque, NM 87103. Do not send your personal documents to any email address or upload them to any other website.

Verification: Fraudsters may demand that you verify your identity within 24 hours to process your claim. NMDWS will not make such requests. After filing an initial claim, the claimant will receive an online secure message in www.jobs.state.nm.us and/or information via email or postal mail with a monetary determination of benefits.

Online surveys: NMDWS does not pay claimants to take surveys. If you receive an email requesting you complete an online survey that appears to be from NMDWS, do not complete the survey. This is likely an attempt to get your personal information.

Suspected fraud activities should be reported by calling the Unemployment Fraud Investigations line at (505) 243-7283. 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.

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 their website at www.saonm.org or by calling 1-866-OSA-FRAUD. You may also speak to an investigator by calling (505) 476-3800.

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