Treasurer urges residents not to fall for unclaimed property scam

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State Treasurer John Perdue is urging residents not to cooperate with anyone purporting to represent the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators in Boston.

NAUPA is an arm of the National Association of State Treasurers, with headquarters in Lexington, KY. The national treasurers’ group also maintains an Office of Federal Relations in Washington, DC. There is no Boston office.

A call from the Boston number may flash the name “Delroy Hibbert.” A scammer may also use the name “Karen.”

“Recently, a state resident called stating that ‘NAUPA” in “Boston” had called her and said they had $750,000 for her in unclaimed property and that after withheld taxes she would get $420,000,” Treasurer Perdue said. “She came to us to ask if it was legitimate. No it is not.

“NAUPA does not call people to notify them of unclaimed property. The organization is a vital resource in the quest to return lost assets but field outreach lies with individual states’ unclaimed property programs. I urge folks to ignore these calls if received.”

The scam coincides with the Treasurer’s Office distribution of a 13,000-name insert which began Mar. 30 and runs in state newspapers until Apr. 13. All people named in the insert are due unclaimed property. A claim form is included in the insert or one may go to www.wvtreasury.com and file electronically.

The Treasurer’s unclaimed property staff may be reached at 1-800-642-8687.

Unclaimed property is any asset from which the rightful owner has become separated. Examples include a forgotten final paycheck, a utility deposit or abandoned safe deposit box contents.