State Treasurer of Iowa

Treasurer Fitzgerald Raises Awareness on Cyber Security

October 16, 2019

Des Moines, IA – October is National Cyber Security month and State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is urging Iowans to be vigilant with their personal information online. “Over the years, we have seen many unclaimed property scams,” Fitzgerald warned. “As cyber criminals become more sophisticated, unclaimed property solicitations have also become more sophisticated. If you are contacted by someone indicating that you have unclaimed funds, always check GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov. There is added security knowing that you are dealing with a government website.”

Fitzgerald has some security tips related to unclaimed property and the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt:

  • Know whom you’re dealing with. There are many sites advertised on search engines not related to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt that may try to charge a fee to recover unclaimed property. Always make sure you are dealing with a government site.
  • Do not pay anyone that says they will help you recover unclaimed funds. The state treasurer’s office does not charge to search or return funds.  
  • Do not provide your personal information to any entity other than a state-run program.
  • Do not email your personal information to our office. GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov has a secure upload site that ensures the security of your information.

The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program has returned over $270 million in unclaimed property to more than 592,000 people since Fitzgerald create it in 1983. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property’s owner for a specific period of time. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits, and safe deposit box contents.

For more tips on improving your safety online, visit the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NSCA) at StopThinkConnect.org. To search for unclaimed property, visit the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov.  Keep up with all of the treasurer’s office programs on Facebook and Twitter.  

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