KeepUP™ Blog

4/2/21 10:30 AM

Phishing Email Leads to Data Breach at the California State Controller’s Office

The California State Controller’s Office (SCO) Unclaimed Property Division recently experienced a data breach after an employee clicked on a phishing email. According to the Notice of Data Breach posted on the SCO’s webpage, an unauthorized user had access to the employee’s email account from March 18, 2021 at 1:42pm to March 19, 2021 at 3:19pm.


Topics: Risk, California, Fraud

4/18/19 9:12 AM

Unclaimed Property Fraud Affects Holders and States

On-line fraud is becoming more prevalent when it comes to unclaimed property claims. 

In a recent case of fraud, the State of Arkansas was found to have paid more than $40,000 to at least one person who used stolen identities to make fraudulent claims through the State’s online claims tool.

Auditor of State Andrea Lea indicated that the fraud used stolen identities to allow the fraudsters to pose as owners of unclaimed property held by the Auditor's office and claim the property for themselves.

A spokesman for the Auditor's office, said that whoever submitted the fraudulent claims had access to the type of documents, such as a passport or driver's license, that the office required as proof of identity for people filling out online claims, and that "this person was an expert criminal". 


Topics: Due Diligence, Best Practices, Fraud

8/18/16 12:28 PM

Fall Reporting Readiness: Due Diligence Tip Roundup

When you’re looking ahead to a new unclaimed property reporting cycle, it’s important to identify some of the aspects of reporting that haven’t gone so well in past cycles. Due diligence often falls into this area, because it can be challenging to sort through varying requirements of multiple states and ensure all steps of the due diligence process are carried out accurately.

With little concentrated effort, you and your team can probably come up with solutions to streamline due diligence processes—and even avoid triggering future issues. Paying attention to the process now may take a little time and require a meeting or two, but the preemptive effort now will pay off later in less stress, better accuracy, better records in the event your company is audited, and potentially lower liabilities.

Due diligence for fall reporting in particular can be more demanding than for summer or spring reporting cycles. For most corporations and banks, fall reporting contains a majority of the states, so process requirements are much more demanding. Unclaimed property personnel must manage greater printing, mailing, email and phone calls — both inquiries and responses. Although there is a longer break between summer and fall reporting deadlines than between fall and spring deadlines, many staff members are on vacation before the fall cycle, which can make report processing more challenging.

Challenges of Unclaimed Property Due Diligence

Some of the most challenging due-diligence-related reporting issues fall into these categories:

  • Keeping up with varying state time thresholds triggering due diligence
  • Getting the timing of mailing, responding and reporting correct
  • Meeting specific wording requirements of different jurisdictions
  • Preventing and dealing with fraudulent responses
  • Owners can misunderstand efforts to reunite them with their property

Topics: Due Diligence, Recordkeeping, Best Practices, Fraud

7/9/15 11:53 AM

Unclaimed Property Best Practices: How to Prevent, Identify and Resolve Fraudulent Claims

We recently published a blog about four main types of unclaimed property fraud. Understanding where fraud happens is the first step in beating it. 

Now, we are going to provide ideas for preventing fraud, identifying and resolving it.

Prevention: Dampening the temptation of unclaimed property

The fact that owners don't know about unclaimed property tempts some people to believe they might be able to detour a check or other property to their own possession or an accomplice's. The key to preventing fraud is to dampen this temptation.

Internal fraud prevention: Ask professional advisors with fraud experience to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Create official monitored processes for handling unclaimed property, including logins and regular reviews. Anyone who otherwise might be tempted to divert funds will see the process is well-managed and risks of attempting fraud are high.

External fraud prevention: Establish clear processes for verifying owner identity. Professional advisors can help determine information to capture. This should include complete contact information at time of purchase, employee/vendor onboarding, or account opening. Request the same information from an apparent owner. A fraudster who can't provide the right information will give up.

Topics: Risk, Best Practices, Fraud