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Unclaimed Property News Roundup

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 14, 2019

Unclaimed property often makes news headlines beyond the frequent reports of states trying to return money to their citizens. Following is a recap of some recent stories getting news coverage from local media outlets. 

 

Finders keepers? Not so fast

“Find a penny, pick it up. All day long, you'll have good luck.” That may work if you find a penny, but you may not be so lucky if you find a wad of cash. An Oct. 22, 2019, WWBT TV story discussed who gets possession of found money in Virginia. Although several county sherrif’s departments had different policies, they all suggested Virginia’s unclaimed property statute determined the money should eventually make its way to the state. 

 

You can’t take it with you

Uncashed checks, forgotten 401k accounts and abandoned safe deposit boxes may be common sources of unclaimed property, but what about items people are carrying when they pass away? On Nov. 6, the Indianapolis Star reported on the findings of a Marion County, Indiana, coroner’s office audit. The “culture of mismanagement” detailed in the audit report included concerns that coroners were simply storing belongings unclaimed by families of the deceased rather than turning them over to the county. 

 

Another day, another scam

Several news outlets, including Idaho’s Times-News and WFMY in Greensboro, North Carolina, recently reported on the latest consumer scam involving unclaimed property. According the Better Business Bureau, unwitting individuals receive a postcard, email or social media message alerting them that they have an unclaimed reward of $100 or more from a major retailer, and the deadline for redeeming them is just a few days away. Upon calling the phone number, the scam victims are asked for personal information to confirm their identity, along with payment information to cover mailing fees. The scammer than uses the payment card information and personal information to make fraudulent charges. 

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