Letters circulating in Maine that promise to return valuable property to the recipients actually are part of a scam, a state official warned Thursday.

The letters claim to be from the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, a legitimate nonprofit organization that assists states in returning unclaimed property to its rightful owners. However, Maine Treasurer Terry Hayes said in a news release that the letters themselves are fraudulent.

The fraudulent letters have a return mailing address of 1 Ashburton Place in Boston and begin with the statement, “The purpose of this correspondence is to make you aware that an unclaimed sweepstakes listing under your name is now in the process of liquidation.”

A copy of the letter on the state treasurer’s website claims that the recipient will be awarded $450,000 in cash, but must first pay a fee of $2,250.

Hayes said recipients of the letter should discard it without responding. She said that legitimate unclaimed property notices never demand a fee.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.