You may have unclaimed property — really

Sometimes, we all get mail, telling us we have won a prize or have something coming to us. Sometimes, those messages come by phone — and as consumer advocates warn —  many, whether delivered by mail or by phone, are just designed to separate you from your cash.

But some have Unclaimed Property in Maine — about 2,750 people, were sent a post card last week from State Treasurer Terry  Hayes, letting them know they can submit a claim for Unclaimed Property the state is holding in their name.

On Monday, Hayes said notifications were sent by postcard through the U.S. Postal Service. The postcard notification was limited, however, and many who didn’t get a card in the mail may still have Unclaimed Property.

“If you do not receive a postcard from my office, you may still have property,” said Hayes in a news release. “Postcards were sent to select individuals with accounts that hold $1,000 or more, but there are hundreds of millions of dollars in additional property. Every citizen needs to review the list of Unclaimed Property. It should be just as routine as filing taxes each year.”

At present, the state treasury holds nearly $242 million in unclaimed property, Hayes said.

Unclaimed Property consists of money and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of inactivity. It includes items such as bank accounts, checks not cashed, life insurance policies, unpaid wages, stocks and dividends, refunds, and safe deposit box contents.

Hayes also sent out a warning about fraudulent schemes purporting to be from her office.

“If someone is asking for a payment or personal information, tear it up, or hang up the phone, because that is a scam,” she said. “Call our office directly or go to our website.”

To see if you have unclaimed property or file a claim, go to https://www.maine.gov/upsearch and follow the instructions.

Deputy Treasurer Matthew Colpitts said if someone is without a computer, they can call the office to find out if they have property to claim.

“If it is determined they do have property, we will set up a claim and mail any documents that need to be completed,” he said in an email. The number to call is 624-7470 or Toll-free in Maine only — 888-283-2808.

Source: http://www.journaltribune.com/news/2017-12-17/Front_Page/You_may_have_unclaimed_property__really.html

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