State Treasuer Clint Zweifel said an email scam is targeting people in the U.S.The scam is all about unclaimed property, telling the recipient that he/she is owed $2.8 million in Unclaimed Property. The email says the property was found in a metal trunk and asks for additional personal information.It states an indiviual named Jeff Smith, who does not exist, is the director of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. The email says Smith is working with the FBI to return the property and asks for the recipient's full name, address, telephone number, age and occupation.
"I think this criminals were smart in that they used a real organization the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, which had no connection to these criminals," Zweifel said. "But they used that name, and there is a real organization that exists." With a response, a directive to contact an attorney based in the United Kingdom to provide personal financial information is sent to the recipient. An example of the fraudulent emails can be found here.This email is a scam intended to steal personal information, Treasurer Zweifel said in a release Monday. Moving forward, Missourians should be on the lookout for two practices that can indicate an Unclaimed Property scam " unsolicited emails asking for personal information and an offer to return lost property, but for a fee. My team does not send unsolicited emails asking for personal information. I never charge a fee, and will never direct someone to a third-party charging a fee. If someone emails you about Unclaimed Property asking for personal information or wants to charge you to return your property, call my office at (573) 751-0123 to verify legitimacy.Treasurer Zweifel is a member of National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, but says the group never notifies individuals of Unclaimed Property " that duty is left to individual State Treasurers and administrators. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Multi State Information Sharing and Analysis Center have been informed of the scam.My team only sends out emails in response to constituent questions, while working with an individual who has already begun the claims process or to let individuals who have registered for email notifications know of recently added Unclaimed Property, Treasurer Zweifel. Please contact my team any time you question the validity of an Unclaimed Property email.Individuals are also being encouraged to report suspicious Unclaimed Property emails to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx or the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.