I say by mistake because they were both addressed to NAUPA (National Assoication Unclaimed Property Administration) . Their website is unclaimed.org and ours is unclaimed-funds.org, so they must have confused us with NAUPA.
The first one was in August 2016 and the second one was this month (October) so it must be profitable for them if they are still doing it.
The first potential victim was suspicious of it and asked my advice, so I’m pretty sure he was ok. Here is his email (name blocked out for privacy):
“From: Jxxxxx Wxxxxxxx <email@example.com>
Subject: Employed Personnel
I received a call on Wed about having $750.000.00 in my name from some account. The original call came from a Gary Fitzgerald reportedly from Beau. Of consumer Protection. Gave tel. # 312-690-7518. Told me to call NAUPA at 617-981-6164 or 617-861-3959.
A female answered by the name of Allison Cooper, extension #041. She said the govt. tax will be taken out first and wanted to know if I knew what a 1099 form was. I said yes.
She wanted me to get $2,250 from my bank and get a Government Seal from the UPS store. This gave me a little concern. Said my bank was a long way and it would take me too long.
I was to call this morning at 8 AM. She called me three times already, plus Gary Fitzgerald also called. So far I have not answered the phone or called back.
Is this Allison Cooper really one of your employees and do I really have money due me?? Not willing to give information to someone I don’t know.
Would appreciate a conformation on if this is true or a new identity fraud game.”
Here is the second email that was mistakenly sent to me by the victim. I say “victim” here instead of “potential victim” because it looks like she has the money ready to send. Hopefully my response to her stopped her from sending it, but I don’t know ((I’m blocking out the persons name for privacy) :
“From: Mxxxxx Sxxxxx <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: naupa’s address??
I’m sending $2,250 to the following address:
21903 Hempstead Ave. 1(617)981-6164
Queens Village, NY 11429
U.S. Treasury Dept.
addressed to: Donald Goldberg
Claim no. MS9556
person I talked to: 1st Samantha Wolfe
finally to: Allison Cooper 1(877)-240-5422 They claim that I will receive $450,000 after taxes from a $750,000 that I had won for taking 2nd in a Publisher’s Clearing House drawing back in April 2015!!”
Right away, that should send up a red flag. Now, I used to live in Queens and was pretty familiar with it and it didn’t seem like somewhere that would have a government office so I Googled the address.
I can’t paste the results for some reason but you can google it yourself and take a look. It’s got two story buildings on one side of the street with storefronts on the first floor and apartments on the second. On the other side are auto body and auto repair shops. Typical Queens neighborhood, no federal building in site.
I called the toll free number and a woman answered (I thought I may have heard a baby crying in the background when the call was picked up) “Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Affairs, how may I direct your call?”.
Now, you know how difficult it is to call any decent sized business nowadays, let alone a government agency. What do you get when you call? You get an auto-attendant with a menu with a variety of options to go through, including “for English press 1, for Espanol, marque numero dos” at the very beginning.
You certainly don’t get someone answering your call right away, especially a government agency. Give a call to the actual number for the FTC, (202) 326-2222, found here: https://www.ftc.gov/contact and see if you can get someone just as fast. Just to check again I called the toll free number today (during business hours) and received a message that “202 854-0191 can’t take your call right now”.
Toll free numbers typically reside on an actual number. The toll free number cannot make outgoing calls but the number it resides on can, so it would be normal for the 877 240-5422 number to “point to” or “ring to” 202-854-0191. Interestingly enough, 202-854 is a Washington DC prefix. This is a very slick scam! However, if this was the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, wouldn’t the message say that?
It also says “addressed to David Goldberg”. I didn’t hear back from this person after I said don’t do it, but I wonder if they told her to make a check out to this person as well!
Now, for the first person in August that was suspicious of the whole thing, he gets a call from Delaware telling him to call Boston, and it is the same person that is at the Washington DC number for the second person.
If this was legitimate I would say, ok, maybe she transferred from Boston to DC, but come on, this has scam written all over it.
If you google the toll free number you get this person, https://usaphonescams.com/877-240-5422.tel that was suspicious and called the attorney general that confirmed it was a scam and you will get https://jamesmorgan.attorney/legal-directory/question/142523-PHONE-CALL-INFORMING-PKG-CALL-877-240-54 that was called and told they had a prize and if they didn’t call this number it would be disposed of.
The bottom line is any time someone tells you need to send money first to get more money in return, it is most likely a scam, and don’t do it.