Marylanders beware of unclaimed property scam

      State Comptroller Peter Franchot is warning Marylanders to be aware of an unclaimed property scam that is leaving people with fraudulent charges on their phone bills.

      A warning issued Thursday said the scam starts with people receiving phony phone calls from National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators director Jeff Smith stating that an abandoned package has been found belonging to the recipient. The message then directs them to call an international number, which is charged to their phone bill.

      "My office works closely with the NAUPA but that organization never notifies owners of unclaimed or missing funds. If any Marylander receives this message, please notify my office immediately," said Comptroller Franchot.

      Anyone who received this message is asked to call the comptroller's office at 410-767-1700 or toll-free at 1-800-782-7383.