LASD News

Fraud Friday


Unclaimed Property

We all have busy lives where we tend to forget a lot of things over the years, including old accounts or even property.  So, what do we do when we want to claim the accounts or property? While some people may research how to reclaim property, others may become victims of scammers seeking to profit from these overlooked assets.

How this scam works:

 ·        Scammers will randomly call people and advise them of unclaimed assets or property.

 

·        Scammers will offer a service convincing them they will be able to obtain the unclaimed assets or property.

·        Many of these fraudsters will demand an up-front fee or a percentage of the collected cash. Once the victim pays the fee or the percentage, the scammers will no longer be available for contact and the victim is out hundreds of dollars. Such services are unnecessary and may be illegal.

Banks, insurance companies and other businesses are required to turn over inactive properties to the State Controller’s Office, which provides the information to the public for free. Once an unclaimed property is reported, investigators are prohibited by law from contacting the owner to offer their services.

Here are some helpful clues:

 ·        Be leery about signing contracts with asset investigators.

·        If entering such a contract, it is illegal for investigators to charge more than 10 percent of the value of the property.

·        Search for unclaimed property for free at the State Controller’s Office website: http://ucpi.sco.ca.gov.

Always do your research before signing or agreeing to a contract or service