At Keane, our top priority is ensuring the security of our customers’ information. On a continual basis, we diligently track unclaimed property scams, consumer complaints, and concerns about the legitimacy of our business. There are some legitimate unclaimed property tracers and finders that reach out to owners or heirs whose assets have already been turned over to the state, but many of those who reach out are scams. Companies hire Keane to review their unclaimed property, ensure they are in full compliance with the laws in each state, and locate owners and heirs before their property remits to a state.
Here are some questions you should ask first to ensure that any company contacting you is legitimate.
- Does the company have a positive rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
The BBB ratings take into consideration complaints received from the public, the business’ response to complaints, type/size of the business, advertising issues, transparent business practices and more.
- Did the company ask you to call an overseas number?
Legitimate unclaimed property companies will likely not ask you to call an overseas number, as most foreign jurisdictions have very different rules.
- Did you only receive an email about unclaimed money?
State unclaimed property administrators and unclaimed property companies, like Keane, will first establish communication via phone or mail.
- Did the money already go to a state?
To see if you have property held at a state, check NAUPA’s website www.NAUPA.org. Searching state databases and retrieving property from the state is free.
- Did they ask for banking information?
Never divulge banking information to someone online.
Keane has an A+ rating with the BBB since 2011 due to our commitment to customer satisfaction by promptly addressing complaints and reviews. Each day, we work diligently with our client companies to perform unclaimed property reviews and ensure that they are in full compliance with the laws. We also conduct investigative research to contact our clients’ constituents, and to also help minimize the number of accounts that report to the states as unclaimed property.
If you have concerns about an inquiry or phone call that you have received about unclaimed property belonging to you or a loved one, we encourage you to reach out to us.
Questions@KeaneUP.com | 800-848-8896
Alert from Keane: Unclaimed Property Complaints and Warnings on the Rise Stemming from Email Scam
Keane Unclaimed Property Team
August 25th, 2011
A note of warning to clients of Keane, unclaimed property complaints and concerns have grown over the last several weeks. The cause is a very prominent email scam that has been showing up across the country. If you’ve been tuning into Good Morning America you may already have seen information about the scam that’s underway.
Or perhaps you have recently received one of the suspect emails which promise to reunite you with unclaimed money? Essentially the scammer is trying to lure people to respond under the guise that they have millions in unclaimed funds. Consumers from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Nevada, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio and Louisiana have all reported encountering these fraudulent promises of millions in unclaimed property.
Worse yet, these emails appear to come from a very legitimate organization, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) of which Keane’s Valerie Jundt is a former executive director. While NAUPA is certainly a real and respected organization (it is made up of state unclaimed property professionals and many treasurers from across the country) it does not have the authority to distribute unclaimed funds to consumers as these emails suggest.
So far, based on what we’ve heard at Keane, unclaimed property complaints from consumers typically say that they were directed to call an overseas number (this is a big red flag) to retrieve their money. Complaints also mention (not surprisingly) that there is a fee charged to claim the property. Here’s how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of one of these scams:
- If you receive just an email regarding unclaimed money, it is most likely not legitimate. State unclaimed property administrators will not use email to contact you. They will first send you letters through the post office.
- The state’s that hold unclaimed property CAN help you recover money, but won’t contact you by email. To see if you have property held at a state, do so directly using NAUPA’s website to connect to any of the various state treasury websites where you can conduct an online search (www.NAUPA.org). Certain states can be searched as well through the website MissingMoney.com. Searching the state databases is free – and if you’re going it alone in the unclaimed property retrieval process with the states, it’s free too.
- Never divulge bank account information to someone online. States don’t even need that information to reunite you with your money.
- There are companies like Keane that work with many prominent companies and financial institutions to help locate missing account owners and their families to prevent accounts from becoming unclaimed property. Inquiries to account owners or their family will never be through email until after communication has been established via telephone or mail.
Here at Keane, unclaimed property complaints are something we take very seriously. Each day, we work diligently with our client companies to perform unclaimed property reviews and ensure that they are in full compliance with the laws. We also conduct investigative research to contact our clients’ constituents and help clients minimize the number of accounts that must be reported as unclaimed property.
If you are concerned about an inquiry or phone call that you have received about unclaimed property, please don’t hesitate to email or call me. I will be happy to share any information we have.
Debbie L. Zumoff
Chief Compliance Officer