Beware of Fraudulent Offers
Some companies and Web sites ask you to pay before assisting you with the recovery of your unclaimed property. While there are legitimate services available to assist you - heir finders and asset locators - for a fee, it is important to remember that the State of Vermont never charges a fee for you to reclaim your money. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators provides free search tools for locating lost assets throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and several Canadian provinces. It also has endorsed www.MissingMoney.com, as a viable search tool. You can also visit the US Government's Unclaimed Property website.
Bottom-line: before paying anyone to locate your property, first contact the State Treasurer Office.
- Educate yourself about the company involved. Never heard of the business or person with whom you intend to do business? Research them: contact the Better Business Bureau, any relevant licensing agency, your bank or credit union, an attorney or law enforcement agency.
- Read and fully understand any business agreement prior to signing it and initiating any process.
- Be cautious of any business having only a post office box or mail drop as its address location.
- Beware of businesses requiring you to sign non-disclosure or non-circumvention agreements that prevent you from verifying the identity of the people with whom you are considering doing business.
NAUPA urges anyone with concerns about how a business is handling their unclaimed property claim to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov ) . Also enlist help from the Vermont Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program (telephone: 800/649-2424).