ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Health released protected, private info on locals who passed away from January 2020 through December 2021. Now, the department is warning family members to be on the lookout for fraudulent financial activity using the deceased people’s info.

“We have taken steps to comply with all applicable state and federal laws. In addition, we are working to enhance policies and practices to elevate the protection of patient information in the future,” the department said in a press release.

Although the release did not include names, birthdays, addresses, or contact information, the department says they did send a journalist a spreadsheet that contains legally protected health information. The information was sent out in response to a public records request.

New Mexico’s state law allows journalists and members of the public to request public info from state agencies. Usually, protected info is redacted before requests are fulfilled.