Scam Postcards Promise Return of Unclaimed Property
The thought that any of us could have money sitting in a bank somewhere, waiting for us to claim it is exciting! And scam artists are preying on that feeling with a new attempt to cheat residents through the use of a postcard promising the return of unclaimed property. Problem is, it's from Colorado.
Maine Treasurer Neria Douglass said in a press release that postcards mailed from out of state are not from the State Treasurer's office and so are highly suspicious.
"Unfortunately, the responsible party is trying to mislead people," Douglass said in the release. "Luring them to respond by using our unclaimed property program. I recommended that anyone who receives notice from outside Maine does not respond in any way."
The Office of the State Treasurer does use postcards to notify people of unclaimed property. And there are a number of ways to determine whether a notice is real or fake.
- On a real notice, the return address will be Augusta, ME
- It will direct owners to an official State of Maine website (maine.gov)
- It will advertise the Treasurer's phone number (207) 624-7470
- And it will bear the official seal of the state of Maine and the signature of the Treasurer
If you receive a fake notification (pictured here), do not contact the sender in any way. Check the actual State of Maine website to see if you have any unclaimed property and only follow the instructions on the website to claim it.
Unclaimed property consists of cash and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of time. Included property may be checking accounts, certificates of deposit, over-payments, gift certificates, life insurance policies, unpaid wages, uncashed checks, death benefits, dividends, insurance payments, refunds, savings accounts, stocks, and contents of safe deposit boxes.
This scam reminds me of a series of postcards I received months ago, asking me to contact the sender to 'update my information' for an alumni book being put together. And I could purchase the book they were publishing for Bangor High School graduates! Problem is....I graduated from Brewer. Nice try, folks....but no cigar.