TRENTON – The Department of the Treasury is warning New Jersey residents to be careful when it comes to text messages that seem too good to be true. Scammers purporting to be from Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) are sending fraudulent text messages to residents, asserting that unclaimed funds can be accessed by clicking a link.
“We urge New Jerseyans to immediately delete any text messages claiming to be from Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Administration,” said Steven Harris, UPA Administrator. “When we communicate with people about unclaimed property, we do so by e-mail or letter -- never by text messages. In fact, we’ve recently improved our systems to make the real process easier for people to find out if we are holding onto their property.”
The bogus text messages, which have also been reported in Michigan, Louisiana and Idaho, claim the recipient has unclaimed property held by the state in random dollar amounts. They say that this property can be claimed by clicking a link in the message. This is common to “phishing” scams, where clicking a link gives scammers access to a person’s information.
“Reconnecting people with their property is a mission Treasury is proud to support,” said State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. “We want everyone out there to be wise to such scams. Our overriding goal is to help reunite people with their rightful assets.”
The UPA has reunited rightful owners with $380 million over the past three years. The state Treasury Department is the custodian of lost or forgotten assets such as inactive bank accounts, uncashed checks, valuables left in safe deposit boxes and stock certificates.
Residents can check to see if the State is in possession of any unclaimed property by visiting Unclaimed Property.