Friday Lost + Found: Virginia’s Billion, Wyoming’s Scam Warning
Big Numbers Out of Virginia — The Virginian-Pilot has an article about an unclaimed property auction currently being hosted by the Virginia Department of Treasury. Feel free to check it out if you are so inclined. However, what caught our attention here was the passing reference to how much unclaimed property is currently being held by Virginia: according to the article, “more than $1 billion is waiting to be claimed.” (That’s right, with a “B”).
Wyoming Warns of Unclaimed Property Scam — Along those same lines, when there is such a huge pot of money waiting to be claimed, it should come as no surprise that there are people out there who are trying to see if they can get a slice of it, honestly or not. The Wyoming State Treasurer’s Office recently warned residents of a scam whereby so called “finders” identify potential claimants, and contact them, asking for personal information and offering to “help” them reclaim their money for a fee of up to 50% of the value of the property. Not only is that fee unscrupulous, but the disclosure of personal information subjects the claimant to an increased risk of identity theft. We’ve discussed finders before in this space, and while we will forgo the discussion of the relative risks and benefits of finders for today, suffice it to say that 50% is too much.