Oklahoma Treasurer Warns Of Unclaimed Property Email Scam
Deanne Stein, News9.com
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An email scam is making it's way into the inbox of many Oklahomans.
Thursday, State Treasurer Ken Miller warned Oklahomans to watch out for an e-mail scam that says you have international unclaimed property worth millions in cash.
According to Miller, the e-mail claims to be from an unclaimed property official and implies the FBI has cleared it. It can be very deceiving because it attempts to look like an official notification and says the recipient doesn't have to pay to receive the funds. If you respond to this email, another message is sent directing you to contact an attorney overseas.
"This is nothing but a scam," Miller said. "Those behind this e-mail fraud are not looking to return any money; they want to trick the recipient into disclosing personal financial information."
Miller said one reason he is concerned is because the fraudulent e-mail claims to have been sent by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) of which Oklahoma is a member.
"By using the name of NAUPA, a legitimate organization that helps coordinate uniform laws governing unclaimed property, a recipient might be tricked into participating in the con," he said. "Please don't be fooled."
The treasurer also wants to remind Oklahomans that the state's legitimate unclaimed property division does not direct claims recipients to a private third party, charge fees or request bank account information.
Through Miller's office, Oklahomans can claim their lost money. In Fiscal Year 2011, the office returned more than $15.8 million to its rightful owners. The average claim paid was for more than $1,300.
Anyone who receives one of the fraudulent e-mails should not respond to it, but should instead contact the Internet Crime Compliant Center.
Unclaimed property is turned over to the treasurer's office when the businesses holding it loses track of the owner. Examples of unclaimed property include bank accounts, security deposits, old paychecks, royalties, rebates, stock and bonds. The contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes are also included.