MyMoney Monitor—the latest scam to hit Wisconsin

GOOD TO KNOW
Patricia Hafermann • Benefit Specialist

A client in Northern Wisconsin recently received a letter explaining that he had nearly $5,000 available to him in unclaimed funds. The letter indicated that this company, My- Money Monitor, would help him get this money back (for a percentage fee, of course).

Several things were troubling about this letter.

First, the funds were in a name and a type of account the client did not recognize.

Second, it asked for personally identifying information, including his Social Security number.

Third, it had a bold “Respond By” date, which led the reader to believe that the unclaimed funds would no longer be available or some other consequence would occur after that date.

Just one week later, the Baraboo News Republic reported a similar story, where people were receiving letters claiming to be from St. Clare Hospital, again requesting personal information such as Social Security numbers.

If people submitted the requested information to My- Money Monitor, they could expect to receive several hundred dollars back. St. Clare Hospital denied any affiliation with My- Money Monitor.

Earlier in 2011, ABC News reported this business’s scam, which appears to have scaled back quite a bit. MyMoney Monitor previously sent emails claiming that the person had “millions” of unclaimed property dollars. It appears that My- Money Monitor is using more reasonable amounts and U.S. mail to hook more people.

Many people do, in fact, have unclaimed property. However, the state rarely takes unclaimed funds for its own use, and there are no deadlines to claim funds. If you are curious as to whether you have unclaimed property in Wisconsin, visit http://www.statetreasury.wiscnsin.gov/. The process of claiming property for yourself is free and works entirely through the State Treasury Department and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. You will be asked to provide identifying information; just make sure you are always sharing this with the State Treasury Department or the Department of Revenue only, and NOT a private third party.

Here are some other helpful tips:

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) does not contact people to reunite them with their missing money.

State agencies never outsource work to private third parties.

State agencies never ask for bank account information. Agencies will need personally identifying information such as your Social Security number, but never financial information.

State agencies do not charge money for obtaining unclaimed property.

If you or someone you know receives a similar notice from My- Money Monitor, you can file a complaint with the following agencies:

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection(DATCP) at http://datcp.wi.gov/File_ Complaint/index. aspx or The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at heeps://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-1.

If you are curious about your own unclaimed property, directly contact the financial institution.

If you have any additional questions, you may call Pat Hafermann, Elderly Benefits Specialist with the Aging and Disability Resource Center at (920) 467-4076.

Sources: Published with permission from the Legal Services Team at the Greater Wisconsin.


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