BATON ROUGE, LA - State Treasurer Ron Henson is alerting Louisiana residents to a nationwide unclaimed property scam that is targeting citizens in an attempt to steal money and personal information.
The fraudulent correspondence has been arriving by both mail and email and appears official, because it is on letterhead from the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).
"NAUPA is a legitimate organization, but it does not handle unclaimed property returns and would not contact you directly with information about your unclaimed property," said Treasurer Henson. "All unclaimed property correspondence, outreach and returns are handled at the state level."
Unclaimed property scams undermine the efforts of Louisiana and other states to return missing money, and according to NAUPA's director David Milby, have been running rampant nationwide. "Emails from the public about this issue have increased tenfold in the past year," Milby said.
The Louisiana State Treasury is responsible for locating and returning more than $750 million in unclaimed property. The money is turned over to the state from a variety of sources including payroll checks, old bank accounts, royalties, utility deposits, interest payments, stock certificates and life insurance proceeds.
"We do not ask for your personal information upfront, and there's never a fee to claim your unclaimed property," said Treasurer Henson. "If you ever have any doubts about whether something is legitimate or a scam, please give us a call or visit our website."
Louisiana citizens can search for unclaimed property online at www.latreasury.com or by calling a toll-free hotline at 1-888-925-4127 (weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).