By: Bill Waters, NewsOXY Reporter
09/30/2012 02:42 PM ET
Some of the unclaimed money scams involve fake emails, identity theft, and cases of people conducting the searching, but stealing the found treasure. Scams such as this one have been cropping up around the country, due to the growing popularity that victims have a hidden treasure left by a loved one, or that a company has set aside a refund for them that has been long forgotten.
The money or property that has been forgotten by the owner has remained unclaimed for a specific amount of years. After that period is up, which is different per each state, the funds is turned over to the government for safe keeping, until the owner or heir comes forward to claim it. Some states, such as Texas, keep it after 10 years.
One recent incident involves a man by the name of Alexander Mitchell who is accused of stealing money. Mitchell allegedly posed as a fake company and persuaded individuals to grant him power of attorney to find and collect their funds. Mitchell allegedly then charged most of them for this service, and never gave the individuals their property.
"It is a shame that people are using unclaimed money for their own benefits. Recently, there has been an increase in news reports about people who stole unclaimed money from others, or email scams using unclaimed money, in order to get personal information. It makes it difficult for legitimate, honest companies such as mine, as it creates skepticism on the concept," Bill McIntosh said.
The recently nationwide scam amounts to over $32 billion, which includes 117 million different accounts. As the government is making strong attempts to return this property to the rightful owners, it is men like the Ohio resident, Alexander Mitchell, who make it difficult.