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BLOG: Lookout For Unclaimed Funds Scam E-Mail

By Jim Donovan: The office of Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord has issued a warning for Pennsylvanians to be on the lookout for a fraudulent, unsolicited email that is making its way to inboxes around the world. The email, purportedly from the director of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), suggests the recipient is owed $2.8 million in cash from an abandoned shipment at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Ga.

The email asks recipients to reply with their full name, address, telephone number, age, and occupation. Those who have responded to the email reportedly receive a poorly worded response directing the targeted person to provide additional information to an attorney in the United Kingdom. While NAUPA is a legitimate organization, it typically does not contact those owed unclaimed property.

“NAUPA – which brought this scam to our attention – is a great organization that does a lot of good work supporting state government unclaimed property programs, but the association generally does not reach out to citizens proactively to alert them of outstanding claims,” said Treasurer McCord. “That is our job here at Treasury, and it is one that we pride ourselves in doing well. Email scams such as this undermine the good public service we try to offer by reuniting people with property that rightfully belongs to them.”

Many companies offer to reunite people with unclaimed property for a fee, but any person or organization can search for property free at www.patreasury.org. The PA Treasury estimates that about 1 in 10 Pennsylvanians has property waiting to be claimed.