A fake unclaimed property site may look like the original but there's one very big difference that could cost trusting Mainers money.

State Treasurer Terry Hayes said in a media release that residents are being contacted by mailings being sent from out of state, or by fake emails. The messages tell the potential victim that they have unclaimed property in the form of bank balances or insurance settlements, etc. that have been left behind, and that the money can be claimed easily, for a small fee. This is where the scammers give themselves away.

Maine does have a genuine unclaimed property list, and there is a chance that you may find your name on the list. Anyone who's left money in a bank account, or moved around so that insurance or other financial companies couldn't find them, might have a settlement or bank balance that was accidentally left behind. That money belongs to them and they can claim it easily. But it doesn't cost a cent. The State Treasury will never, ever charge a resident for retrieving their unclaimed property.

Douglass says the fake site looks genuine. And it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of thinking that there's money just waiting for you to claim. But residents need to stop and consider whether the information is genuine. The real unclaimed property list can be found on the State of Maine website. Check it out!