Madison woman says scammers targeted her with ‘unclaimed property’

Madison woman says scammers targeted her with ‘unclaimed property’

MADISON, AL (WAFF) - Did you know there may be money waiting for you? One Madison woman says that scammers do and they’re after it. It’s all unclaimed property. Mary Gooch reports someone was trying to rip off just to get her money. Alabama Treasury Secretary John McMillan says his office will never charge you for unclaimed property.

Unclaimed money is abandoned financial assets that McMillan says could be money left in a “checking or savings account, unpaid wages, sometimes life insurance payouts, checks that hadn’t been cashed but often times safety deposit boxes that are inactive for certain periods of time.”

Currently, there is more than $880 million in unclaimed property in Alabama.

Over the last five years the state has returned more than $125 million. So far this year more than $30 million has been returned.

A friend of Mary Gooch, 84, told her about the unclaimed property website, so she looked into it. The state treasury office operates the site.

“They explained it to him and said I needed to send them $45 upfront before they could send me the information to send me my money," explained Gooch.

McMillan says the person Gooch says she was speaking with was trying to rip her off as that’s not how business is done. “Often folks are too embarrassed to complain or something like that but the main thing that people need to remember is no state ever charges anything,” said McMillan.

Those most often at risk are the elderly, which is why Gooch wanted to alert you before you fall victim.

“It’s a good way to lose whatever little savings we do have," said Gooch.

Click here to see if you have any unclaimed property. Additionally, if you have questions call their toll free number 888-844-8400.

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