Phone calls to State Treasurer John Perdue’s Unclaimed Property Division spiked last week, following news that the Treasury returned more than $290,000 to a former West Virginia woman.
Louise, 90, who had her full name withheld for privacy, received the big check Nov. 8 in a morning ceremony at the State Capitol. Following the well-attended press event, the Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division received 358 phone calls that day, with an average of almost 15 calls per hour. Normally, the Division receives 75 to 100 calls a day.
The following day, Nov. 9, attracted another active round of inquiries, with 260 calls. In all, the Division received 822 phone calls from Nov. 7 until 11 a.m. Nov. 13. The two heavy days mentioned represent 618 of the 822 calls.
In addition to the calls, there was an increase in unclaimed property eClaims. In the 24 hours following the presentation, new online claims were filed on 375 properties. Typically, an average of 50 claims a day are filed with the Division.
“I can’t be anything but heartened by the response we received,” the Treasurer said. “These numbers perfectly illustrate how helpful local media can be in educating the public about our program and helping us return unclaimed property.”