CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State Treasurer Riley Moore today warned residents about a potential scam call that could falsely claim to represent the Office’s Unclaimed Property Division.
The State Treasurer’s Office recently received a complaint that someone was calling residents identifying themselves as a representative of the Unclaimed Property Division and telling individuals they have funds available in their name. To obtain those funds, however, the individual is told they need to purchase a reloadable pre-paid debit card and mail it to an address so the funds can be added to it.
“Scammers frequently use the guise of legitimate initiatives like the Unclaimed Property program to attempt to deceive residents and swindle their money,” Treasurer Moore said. “It’s important to know that my Office will never ask someone to pay for an unclaimed property search or charge them to receive their funds.
“If anyone receives one of these calls, I urge them to write down the number and contact our Office to either verify the claim or report the scammer,” Treasurer Moore said.
The Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division and local government specialists frequently send letters to residents as part of outreach efforts to connect them with unclaimed property. However, the letters are mailed on official stationery and ask the individual to file a claim using the official www.wvtreasury.com website or our Unclaimed Property phone line (800-642-8687).
Office representatives will not ask for personal information until after the individual has officially filed a claim.
While the Office does use letters, it does not reach out to consumers using text messages – another frequent scam.
“Scammers will sometimes send a text message asking you to click on a link to recover unclaimed property, when in reality they’re just phishing for personal data,” Treasurer Moore said. “That’s why it’s important for consumers to know they should contact our Office directly to verify any unclaimed property requests.”
You can access the unclaimed property website by visiting www.wvtreasury.com and clicking the “Are We Holding Your Money?” graphic. You can also contact the division directly at 800-642-8687 or by emailing [email protected].
“If anyone ever has any question about the legitimacy of an unclaimed property message, I urge them to call or email our Office,” Treasurer Moore said. “This is a vital program that reconnects people with their money. Our staff stands ready to help, so if there’s ever a question, feel free to reach out directly to us.”
Unclaimed property can include financial accounts or items of value in which the owner has not initiated any activity for one year or longer. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and uncashed checks.
West Virginia’s unclaimed property laws protect the public by ensuring money and property owed to them is returned to them, rather than remaining permanently with financial institutions, business associations, governments and other entities.