2017-04-20 / Community News

Be aware of new scam about unclaimed property

New scams, promising to return unclaimed property for a fee, are targeting Maine residents through unofficial websites and notices in the mail.

State Treasurer Terry Hayes is warning residents to be wary of these websites and to be cautious of mailings or emails stating that you have unclaimed property with the state of Maine.

“Each year, new schemes are created that attempt to take advantage of Mainer’s familiarity with our Unclaimed Property Program. While there are many differences between our program and these schemes, the easiest way to spot a scheme is if it asks for payment information,” Hayes said.

The Office of the State Treasurer does maintain a list of unclaimed property, and receives new properties each year. However, there is no fee to review the list or claim property. To ensure the correct information is obtained for unclaimed property with the state of Maine, go to the official website http://www.maine.gov/upsearch or call the treasurer’s office at 624-7470. To search for unclaimed property in other states, visit www.missingmoney.com, a nationally recognized database of state unclaimed property programs.

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. It includes, among other items, 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. Unclaimed Property does not include real estate, animals or vehicles. During the period from July 2016 through March 2017, more than 17,000 Mainers reclaimed more than $13 million of lost funds.

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