NEWS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF MISSOURI STATE TREASURER CLINT ZWEIFEL:
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel warns Missourians of new Unclaimed Property email scam
Missourians should report unsolicited emails asking for personal information
JEFFERSON CITY - State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (ZWY-ful) is warning Missourians of an email scam being sent nationwide that claims the recipient is owed millions of dollars in Unclaimed Property discovered during an audit by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).
The current scam email states a fake individual, Alexis James, who claims to be a Regional Auditor of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, has conducted an audit and found $23 million that belongs to an individual designated next of kin with the same name as the email recipient. An example of the fraudulent email can be found here <http://www.unclaimed.org/uploads/resources/229/fraudulent-unclaimed-property-email-message-2.pdf>. Please note the dollar amount associated with this scam and the name of the individual it is coming from may change.
"Unfortunately there are bad actors who use Unclaimed Property to gain access to personal information through email scams like this," Treasurer Zweifel said. "Missourians should know I never charge to return Unclaimed Property and every day I am doing all I can to ensure that we use technology in a way to protect your tax dollars and your information. If you do not know whether an email is legitimate, contact my office and, most importantly, never send any personal information in response to an unsolicited email. You can forward any suspicious emails to my office at email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> and we can help make sure others do not fall victim to this scam."
Treasurer Zweifel is a member of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, but the group never notifies individuals of Unclaimed Property - that duty is left to individual State Treasurers and administrators. NAUPA encourages individuals to report any suspicious Unclaimed Property communication to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) online at www.ic3.gov <http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx>.
"My team only sends out emails in certain situations: in response to constituent questions, while working with an individual who has already begun the claims process, to those who have previously filed a claim with new Unclaimed Property, or to let individuals who have registered for email notifications know of recently added Unclaimed Property," Treasurer Zweifel said. "Please contact my team any time you question the validity of an Unclaimed Property email."
About Treasurer Zweifel's Unclaimed Property
State law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies and other business entities to turn over assets to Treasurer Zweifel that belong to a customer, client, employee or other owner if there have been no documented transactions or contact with the owner for five or more years. Most Unclaimed Property consists of cash from bank accounts, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned. It also can include uncollected insurance policy proceeds, government refunds, utility deposits and wages from past jobs. Treasurer Zweifel does not handle real property such as land and houses or certain types of personal property such as cars and boats. There is $760 million in Unclaimed Property maintained by Treasurer Zweifel. Treasurer Zweifel never charges for the return of Unclaimed Property.