New Mexico has been awarded a $50,000 grant to help American Indian residents avoid financial and investment fraud.
Tribes in New Mexico and across the country are expected to receive cash payments in the coming months thanks to a $3.4 billion settlement with the federal government over allegations that land trust royalties were mismanaged.
The head of the state Regulation and Licensing Department, J. Dee Dennis Jr., says con artists know who to target when settlement dollars are being distributed. He says the state is concerned Native communities may become even greater targets.
The nonprofit group Native Community Finance will use the grant for an outreach campaign centered on financial security and investor education. It will begin in the next few weeks.
Several seminars will also be held in Native communities around New Mexico.