More than 28,000 Nebraskans were reached and claims totaling more than $1.4 million were initiated over the last three weeks as the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office made robocalls to home telephones of Nebraskans who own unclaimed property. The robocall campaign ended Oct. 2.
“Our use of robocalls to contact owners of unclaimed property and connect them directly to our Unclaimed Property specialists has been an extraordinary success,” State Treasurer Don Stenberg said.
“Much of that success can be attributed to unclaimed property owners who listened to our message and followed through or who called back after reviewing the message that had been left in their voice mailboxes. The success of the effort also can be attributed to careful planning by our Unclaimed Property Division staff members who sorted voluminous lists and compiled the most accurate contact information available,” the Treasurer said.
Totals showed that 3,332 claims were initiated during the robocall campaign, Treasurer Stenberg reported. Of those, at least 1,551 claims could be attributed directly to robocalls. The other claim owners said they contacted the Treasurer’s Office after hearing about unclaimed property through the news media or from family members or friends. Treasurer Stenberg said those contacts could be indirectly attributed to the robocall effort because of the public attention it received.
Stenberg said he expects to receive even more claims from Nebraskans who were called, but have not yet contacted the Unclaimed Property Division.
In all, $8,235,229 of unclaimed property has been returned to Nebraskans so far in 2013 to 14,883 claim holders. That’s more than the $6.6 million that was returned in all of 2012.
“We now know that the use of robocalls is one effective approach to locate owners of unclaimed property and let them know how to go about filing claims. Robocalls allowed us to reach a large number of people at one time and to put people in direct contact with our claims representatives,” Treasurer Stenberg said. “Robocalls and our other outreach efforts help us fulfill our commitment to returning as much unclaimed property as we can to Nebraska residents and to do so in an efficient and friendly manner.”
The Treasurer’s Office typically uses letters, outreach events, news releases, social media, and newspaper and radio advertising to inform Nebraskans of the state’s unclaimed property program and to assist Nebraskans in filing claims.
“Robocalls added another dimension to our outreach,” Stenberg said. He said no decision has been made about when the office would launch another robocall campaign. The Treasurer’s Office had last used robocalls to contact unclaimed property owners in 2009.
Nebraskans can search for unclaimed property anytime at www.treasurer.org. Or they can call the Unclaimed Property Division at 402-471-8497 or 877-572-9688 toll free.