State Treasurer Don Stenberg is warning Nebraskans to be aware of a fake account on LinkedIn that impersonated him and was used to contact individuals via email about unclaimed property.
“The fraudulent LinkedIn account came to our attention on Friday, and, as of Tuesday morning, has been taken down. The Nebraska State Patrol has been notified,” Stenberg said in a news release.
The fake profile had 233 followers when the Treasurer’s Office became aware of it on Friday and was up to 350 followers on Monday before the account was removed.
Stenberg said he didn't know how many people were contacted, but a man in Texas was contacted by email and told he was heir to $12 million from a deceased client. The email was long and awkwardly worded, and contained poor grammar and confusing sentences.
The sender’s email address was firstname.lastname@example.org. It was signed HON. DON STENBERG and was incorrectly identified as the Treasurer’s private email. All Treasurer’s Office email accounts end with @nebraska.gov and staff does not use personal email accounts for state business.
The Treasurer’s Office notified LinkedIn Friday about the profile, which was under the name, Don Stanberg, and the title, Executive Director at National Association of Unclaimed Property. Both the spelling of the name — one letter off — and the title were similar to the Treasurer’s name and a former title.
The Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office uses a variety of means to contact owners of unclaimed property, including letters sent through the U.S. Postal Service, telephone calls, advertisements in state newspapers and outreach events. The Treasurer’s Office also contacts individuals through Facebook, when other means are not successful, and corresponds through email after contacts have been established or after a person has submitted a claim online that may need follow-up.
“If in doubt about a contact, we recommend people go to treasurer.nebraska.gov and type in their names to determine if the Nebraska Treasurer’s Office has unclaimed property for them,” Stenberg said.
The main Treasurer’s Office telephone number in the State Capitol is 402-471-2455. The main numbers for the Unclaimed Property Division are 402-471-8497 and 1-877-572-9688.