Phishing and other email scams are nothing new, but one recent scam has caused the Missouri state treasurer to speak out so that innocent consumers don’t continue to get victimized. This most recent email phishing scam involves a message notifying potential victims of valuable unclaimed property.
Email fraud can be difficult to detect, particularly if it’s spoofing an official agency for something like unclaimed property, so let’s review the warning signs of this scam to make sure you don’t fall for it!
Email Scam: You’ve Got Unclaimed Property!
This new phishing scam is particularly dangerous because it’s more believable than other types of email fraud. It doesn’t sound as “too good to be true” as the classic Nigerian email scam, for example, which is likely why many consumers have fallen for it so far.
Here’s how the scam works: An email from someone who claims to be the Regional Auditor for the National Association of Unclaimed Property (or NAUPA) arrives in your inbox. The email states that NAUPA discovered valuable property owned by your long lost next-of-kin in a recent audit.
If you’ll go ahead and just send us some of your personal information, the email says, we can send you the $23 million of unclaimed property that we found that belonged to this mysteriously wealthy family member.
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn’t it? But unfortunately, as Missouri State treasurer Clint Sweifel is warning consumers, it’s just another scam out to rip you off.
Anatomy of an Email Scam
As with most things that seem like they’re too good to be true, this email offer is completely fake.
While NAUPA is a real organization, they don’t notify people about unclaimed property. In fact, this is one reason why Missouri treasurer Clint Sweifel made such a public announcement.
Sweifel actually works with the NAUPA chapter in his area, and he came forward to say that this is absolutely not the way the NAUPA works, so any emails that are received like this should definitely not be trusted.
Sweifel also offered this good advice, with which we completely agree: don’t give anyone your personal information if you get an unsolicited email.
This scam was a way for fraudsters to steal victims’ personal information, which can be used for a variety of nefarious purposes including identity theft.
Spread the Word, Share Your SafetyTips
If you’ve encountered this scam or any others, let us know in the comments or submit a complaint on Scambook. Any information that you can share will help other consumers avoid being scammed out of their personal information.
Let us know how you’re staying safe in the comments!