CHARLESTON, W Va. (WDVM) — The West Virginia State Treasury is warning residents of a new texting scam.
Over the last few weeks, some West Virginians have been receiving text messages claiming that they have unclaimed assets with the state treasury. These assets may include unclaimed property that has become unintentionally separated from its owner, a final paycheck, a forgotten security deposit or abandoned contents from a safe deposit box, even a life insurance policy from a family member.
These text messages may ask recipients to click on a link or reply to a message and might also ask for personal information such as their social security number.
State Treasurer John Perdue says that the scam could be a result of people taking advantage of the new unclaimed property website that the treasury implemented last month. As a member of the National Association of State Treasurers, Perdue has discussed this topic of fraudulent messages and claims with other state treasurers who have described that scams like these are not uncommon around the country.
“Well we do contact people, sometimes we send out letters. They’re on state treasury stationary. We kindly send them out certified letting people know we have unclaimed property. If they would like to notify our office, we’d help them process that.”John Perdue, West Virginia State Treasurer
Perdue also stated that these fraudulent texts have resulted in nearly 800 to 1,000 people trying to claim unclaimed property that is not theirs. He also detailed that the state of West Virginia has returned over $230 million dollars to residents in unclaimed property.
The State Treasury warns residents to ignore forms of communication that is not directly from their office and asks that all claims or questions be addressed through their official state office.