State warns of scam tax messages

LANSING—Officials at the Michigan Department of Treasury are asking Michiganders to ignore and delete text messages coming from an unknown source that boasts about reuniting individuals with their unclaimed property.

Over the last week, the state Treasury Department has received reports about text messages stating that individuals have unclaimed property at random dollar amounts. The text message asks the recipient to click on a link to claim their property, resembling a phishing scam.

“Please do not interact with or respond to these texts,” Deputy State Treasurer Ann Good said. “These messages are not affiliated with the state Treasury Department and could be a scam. If you have questions about unclaimed property, visit our website or contact us directly.”

The state Treasury Department is the custodian of millions of dollars in lost or forgotten assets from dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, valuables left in safe deposit boxes and stock certificates. Because these properties were considered abandoned and unclaimed by the bank or company entrusted with them, they are turned over to the state as required by law.

In the last five years, more than $400 million has been paid to claimants.

Individuals can search for unclaimed property on the Michigan Unclaimed Property website at www.michigan.gov/unclaimedproperty. Claimants may also call (517) 636-5320 between 9 a.m. and noon Mondays and Fridays and between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

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