Scammers are filching unemployment funds - Albuquerque Journal

Scammers are filching unemployment funds

With so many people filing for coronavirus-related unemployment insurance, local accountant Camillia Garcia is warning of a scam that hit one of her clients this month.

The client, a legal services sub-contractor, learned recently that someone had filed an unemployment claim in her name on March 20, Garcia says. The scammer used a different address and bank account number than the client’s to divert the unemployment checks.

The client, who is both the employer and sole employee of her business, did not learn of the scammer’s work until April 7. That’s when she received a routine letter the Department of Workforce Solutions sends to employers to verify an employee insurance claim. The client had never filed such a claim.

She had had her identity stolen, although that was about two years ago, Garcia said.

Workforce Solutions is familiar with this type of scam and has “measures in place to detect such activity,” says spokeswoman Stacy Johnston. “There is a fraud unit that works these types of scams on a regular basis.”

The department’s fraud hotline is 505-243-7283.

Cases have been reported nationwide by people who filed for unemployment, only to find their claim was considered a duplicate because someone else had filed in their name.

“Many of the individuals we’re helping are filing for unemployment insurance for the very first time,” Bill McCamley, New Mexico Workforce Solutions secretary, said in a news release. “Please be cautious of scammers trying to take advantage of the situation.”

If you are a victim of duplicate filling, call the department’s Unemployment Insurance Operations Center at 1-877-664-6984. The department can put a hold on a payment while it investigates.

Know that there is no fee to file for compensation, nor will Workforce Solutions ask for your debit card or any other type of payment. If someone calls and says they’re a representative of the department, do not give them information.

Also, watch for fake websites that claim they can help you file a claim. Use only the official website at And one more warning: If you get an email asking that you complete an online survey for the state, don’t do it.

n n n

Add more scams to the long list of those involving the IRS. This time, they center on the stimulus, or economic impact, payments that are going to individuals to help blunt coronavirus-related losses.

The IRS is warning about an expected surge in calls, online phishing attempts and texts in which fraudsters try to acquire personal information.

They might insist that you verify information before the check goes out or suggest that they can help you receive your benefit faster, the IRS says.

Also watch for bogus checks in the mail, perhaps in an odd amount, telling you to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

Contact Ellen Marks at or 505-823-3842 if you are aware of what sounds like a scam. To report a scam to law enforcement, contact the New Mexico Consumer Protection Division toll-free at 1-844-255-9210​.


Home » Business » Business Columns » Scammers are filching unemployment funds

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Couple behind Mountaintop Extracts shifted the cannabis space in ...
ABQnews Seeker
The goal, Eric Merryman said, was ... The goal, Eric Merryman said, was to create safety standards for cannabis extraction — and to offer up the highest-quality products possible for patients.
$35M apartment complex breaks ground in Albuquerque's Northeast Heights
ABQnews Seeker
Titan Development broke ground on Tuesday ... Titan Development broke ground on Tuesday on a 105-unit apartment building in the Northeast Heights. The $35 million project, at 6925 Alameda NE, is ...
Restaurant inspections: Italian, sushi restaurants in the red
ABQnews Seeker
Two restaurants are in the red ... Two restaurants are in the red this week.
Business Column: In financial matters, government role has upside ...
ABQnews Seeker
Politics is directly intersecting with the ... Politics is directly intersecting with the economy — macro, micro, public and personal — in a not-so-rare standoff in Washington, D.C.
Jobs in New Mexico: Unemployment rate unchanged, but jobs ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico's unemployment remained unchanged in ... New Mexico's unemployment remained unchanged in April but preliminary unemployment numbers suggest the state added nearly 3,000 workers over the prior month.
Median sales price reaches all-time high in ABQ metro ...
ABQnews Seeker
After a drop-off in January, the ... After a drop-off in January, the median sales price for a single-family detached home has reached an all-time high — $344,040 in April for ...
The last ride: 46-year-old Bike Coop has closed
ABQnews Seeker
After moving from its original location ... After moving from its original location on Central, the Bike Coop has been selling wheels at 120 Yale SE since 2013.
Stock market today: Asian shares slip following technology selloff ...
Most Recent Biz News
TOKYO (AP) -- Asian shares fell ... TOKYO (AP) -- Asian shares fell Thursday after heavy selling of big-name tech stocks pushed benchmarks lower on Wall Street. Markets declined across the ...
Homegrown Albuquerque company Karoo Health launches digital platform for ...
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque-based startup Karoo Health will deploy ... Albuquerque-based startup Karoo Health will deploy a new digital platform this summer for real-time management of cardiovascular health care, backed by $3.4 million in ...