Scam Awareness

Common Scams:

  • Phishing is the criminal fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by claiming to be a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication such as: e-mail, instant messaging or a social networking site. Communications typically claim to be from popular social web sites, online payment processors or IT administrators.
    • How to Avoid:
      • Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal financial information.
      • Do not use the links in an e-mail, instant message or chat to get to any web page if you suspect the message might not be authentic.
      • Avoid filling out forms in e-mail messages that ask for personal financial information.


  • Credit Card Fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. It is often used in identity theft
    • How to Avoid:
      • Shred all credit card applications you receive
      • Never leave your credit cards or receipts lying around in heavily trafficked areas
      • Shield your credit card number so that others around you cannot copy it or capture a picture of it with a cell phone camera.
      • Keep a list in a secure place with all of your account numbers and expiration dates, as well as the phone number and address of each bank that has issued you a credit card.


  • Pyramid Scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, without any product or service being delivered. Pyramid schemes are illegal in many countries, including the United States.
    • How to Avoid: 
      • Avoid investment opportunities that require you to recruit subsequent investors to regain or increase your initial investment.
      • Before investing, be sure to verify the legitimacy of the franchise in which you are about to invest.


  • Health Insurance Fraud is an intentional act of deceiving, concealing, or misrepresenting information that results in health care benefits being paid to an individual or group.
    • How to Avoid:
      • The coverage offered to you costs 25% or more below the norm, yet promises generous benefits and a large provider network.
      • The plan is not licensed in your state and the agent (falsely) assures you the federal ERISA law exempts the plan from state licensing.
      • The insurance has few or no underwriting.


  • Advance-Fee Fraud usually begins  with a letter, fax or e-mail sent to a selected recipient but is actually sent to many making an offer that will ultimately result in a large payoff for the intended victim.
    • How to Avoid:
      • Do not open e-mails with subject lines that read “From the desk of Mr. ….”, “Your assistance is needed” etc.
      • Beware of stories sent from an unknown sender, often a government or bank employee, who knows of a large amount of unclaimed money.
      • Advanced payment is usually requested by wire transfer.


PDF-icon Scam Awareness Information



Cibola County Law Enforcement:
Cibola County Sheriff Office(505) 876-2040
Acoma Pueblo Police Department(505) 552-6601
Grants Police Department(505) 287-5144
Laguna Pueblo Police Department(505) 552-6685
Milan Police Department(505) 287-4491
Pine Hill – Ramah Navajo Police Department(505) 775-3226
New Mexico State Police(505) 287-4377


Sandoval County Law Enforcement: 
Sandoval County Sheriff Office(505) 867-7526
Bernalillo Police Department(505) 867-2304
Cochiti Pueblo Police Department(505) 465-3136
Corrales Police Department(505) 898-7585
Cuba Police Department(505) 289-9157
Jemez Pueblo Police Department(575) 834-0468
Jemez Springs Police Department(575) 829-3345
Kewa Pueblo - B.I.A. Police
(505) 346-2868/2869
Rio Rancho Police Department(505) 891-5900
Sandia Pueblo Police Department(505) 890-1428
San Felipe Pueblo – B.I.A. Police
(505) 346-2868/2869
Santa Ana Pueblo Police Department(505) 891-7226
San Ysidro Police Department(575) 834-7581
New Mexico State Police(505) 841-9256


Valencia County Law Enforcement: 
Valencia County Sheriff Department(505) 865-9603
Belen Police Department(505) 864-6288
Bosque Farms Police Department(505) 869-2358
Isleta Pueblo Police Department(505) 869-6511
Los Lunas Police Department(505) 865-9130
New Mexico State Police(505) 841-9256


New Mexico State Law Enforcement: 
New Mexico State Police(505) 827-9300