Looking for an apartment or a new job can be stressful enough without having to worry about all the inevitably imperfect scammers out there.
Unclaimed property scams are no exception, but all too often, people don’t even know they’re being scammed, especially if they’re looking for housing. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 2.8 million people fell victim to real estate fraud in 2021.
If you’re worried that you may be a victim of an unclaimed property scam, keep reading to find out everything you need to look out for.
Watch Out for Unsolicited Offers
If you receive an unsolicited offer for unclaimed property, it is likely a scam. These scammers will often use high-pressure tactics to try to get you to sign over your property rights.
They may also ask for upfront fees or promise a high payout. Steer clear of these scammers and report them to the proper authorities.
Be Wary of Claims That Sound Too Good to Be True
If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be from a state or federal unclaimed property office, beware. These scammers may try to trick you into giving them your personal information or paying a fee to claim unclaimed property.
They may also say you’re entitled to a larger amount of money than you actually are. Be wary of any claims that sound too good to be true.
Don’t Provide Personal Information
Never provide personal information to anyone claiming to have unclaimed property for you.
If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be from a state unclaimed property office, hang up and call the office directly to verify the call. Be sure to get the name of the person you speak with and their employee identification number.
Also, be wary of unsolicited requests for personal information or money, especially if the caller is pressuring you for a quick response. If you have any doubts, it’s best to err on the side of caution and simply say no.
Do Your Research
Research the company or individual claiming to have unclaimed property. This can be done by searching the internet or contacting the Better Business Bureau.
If the company is not legitimate, there will likely be complaints or negative reviews. The best way to avoid being scammed is to use a helpful resource available to you and to be cautious.
Be Careful of Fake Websites and Other Online Scams
There are many scams out there that will try to take your money. They will promise to help you find unclaimed money, but will then charge you a fee for their services.
They may even say that you have to pay a fee to claim the money. If you come across a website or service that asks for a fee, steer clear. You can also check with your state’s unclaimed property office to see if they have any complaints against the company.
In addition, determine if an unclaimed funds letter is a scam by checking the letterhead to see if it is from a legitimate source. Read through the letter carefully to see if there are any red flags or warning signs.
And finally, if you’re unsure about a situation, contact your state’s office for their unclaimed funds program.
Protect Yourself From Unclaimed Property Scam
There are many scams associated with unclaimed property, so it is important to be aware of them. Don’t let scammers take advantage of you – know how to spot and steer clear of unclaimed property scams.
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