Consumers should be diligent and carefully review letters and emails they may receive about unclaimed property, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg said today. Stenberg joined the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) in issuing the warning after it was reported that fraudulent letters on fake NAUPA letterhead had been received by consumers in several states.
The fraudulent letters tell consumers that they are entitled to unclaimed sweepstakes and need to send money to purchase “the necessary Federal State Registration Stamp” to claim the so-called award. NAUPA said several cases are already known in which consumers responded to the fraud by sending money.
Stenberg said the Nebraska Treasurer’s Office so far has received no reports of the fraudulent letters or emails being received by Nebraskans.
Nebraskans who have questions or want to verify information about letters or emails they receive regarding unclaimed property should contact the Treasurer’s Office Unclaimed Property Division at 402-471-8497 or toll free 877-572-9688. Nebraskans also can check the Treasurer’s website at https://treasurer.nebraska.gov.
The Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office sent about 7,000 letters in July to consumers for whom unclaimed property had been turned over recently to the Treasurer’s Office, but those letters are on Nebraska State Treasurer’s letterhead and instruct owners how to go about claiming their property at no charge to them. The office does not standardly send emails to owners to notify them that property has been turned over in their names; however, unclaimed property staff members do communicate with owners via email as claims are being filed, completed, and reviewed.
Treasurer Stenberg is the immediate past president of NAUPA, which is the official representative of state unclaimed property programs and a network of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST). The warning is posted on the NAUPA website at https://www.unclaimed.org/.
The following statement was issued today by NAUPA:
As the official representative of the state unclaimed property programs, NAUPA is warning consumers to be on guard against fraudulent letters arriving via the U.S. Mail and in consumers' email inboxes alleging that they have unclaimed property. This particularly deceptive message is on fake NAUPA letterhead and requests money be sent to claim the property.
NAUPA President and Arizona Department of Revenue Unclaimed Property Administrator Joshua Joyce assures the public that this is absolute fraud. "The state unclaimed property agencies themselves regularly contact rightful owners in an effort to reunite them with their lost property, but NAUPA does not notify owners of forgotten or missing funds. Our association does not do that," Joyce said.