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Attorney General’s Office Warns About Facebook “Unclaimed Money” Scam

CONTACT: Janet Murnane, Consumer Assistance Program, (802) 656-3183

January 24, 2014

CONSUMER ADVISORY

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has been notified of a scam targeting Facebook users. After gaining access to an individual’s account, the scammer sends a message to the entire “friends” contact list telling the contacts that their names are on the U.S. Treasury’s Department’s unclaimed funds list. The message gives an email address and number to call to obtain a distribution. When contacted, the scammer asks the consumer to wire money via Western Union to pay for taxes and fees in order to obtain the cash distribution. Scammers have accessed the personal Facebook account of at least one Vermont Legislator and contacted the Legislator’s “friend” list.

Any Facebook message regarding “unclaimed funds” is a scam and is coming from an account that has been compromised. Ignore and delete or discard any Facebook message, or any other communication including mail or email, offering access to unclaimed property or funds.

The Vermont Treasurer’s Office does have an unclaimed property program and does publicize a list of unclaimed property each year, but that Office does not send Facebook messages, emails or letters to individual consumers.

If you received this scam Facebook message and you provided any personal identifying information or wired any funds, please file a complaint with the Attorney Generals’ Consumer Assistance Program.

Consumer Assistance Program
Vermont Attorney General’s Office
146 University Place
103 Morrill Hall
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405

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