MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – If you get a call or email from an official sounding agency which claims that they have money or property owed to you and can return it to you for a fee, hang up, it’s a scam.

State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on Tuesday said scammers have been offering to reunite consumers with unclaimed property for an upfront fee of $600.

Atwater’s Department of Financial Services is responsible for returning unclaimed cash, securities and other property left in safe deposit boxes and dormant accounts at Florida banks. It does not charge a fee. He said the Florida Department of Financial Restitution has been falsely claiming it has a contract with his department. He added that there is no state Department of Financial Restitution.

Citizens have reported being asked by the company to pay the $600 although they had no unclaimed property held by the state.

The department last year returned a record $209 million in unclaimed property.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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