July 30, 2013
The Virginia Department of Treasury is warning of a new scam targeting unclaimed property owners.
The fraudulent email promises a large sum of money from a deceased relative, but first you have to provide personal information.
In some cases, the victim will also be asked to provide a sum of money up-front in order to pay for processing. In addition, the recipient is asked to keep all communications confidential, a common tactic in e-mails targeting older or vulnerable populations in order to keep them from telling friends or family about the scam.
The Virginia Department of Treasury says they will never contact unclaimed property owners in this manner.
“Virginia’s Unclaimed Property Program does not solicit information from people directly through e-mail unless they have contacted us regarding a specific claim first,” says Vicki Bridgeman, Director of Virginia’s Unclaimed Property Program. “We strongly advise that anyone who gets an e-mail promising a big cash reward in exchange for personal information or a processing fee delete it immediately."
The scam usually targets the elderly.