Police in Mansfield have issued advice to residents following reports that a local man had found £5,000 on an allotment.
According to a community website, a keen metal detector found the cash in a tin buried in the allotments, in Birding Street, earlier in October.
The story stated that the finder would give the public 30 days to come forward to claim the money, or they would keep it for themselves.
But the story attracted calls to the police over whether this was the legitimate thing to do and the Force is now investigating the validity of the article, a spokesman said.
Inspector Mark Webster, from the neighbourhood policing team, said: “The best thing to do if you find some lost property is to take it to the nearest police station and hand it in.
“This is for a number of reasons – perhaps the item has been reported as lost to us or perhaps it is linked to a crime that we are investigating. The law states that you must make reasonable attempts to find the owner and although individuals can do that themselves it puts them in a potentially vulnerable position.
“We have made various approaches to trace the journalist and the finder to ascertain the validity of the story and to ensure the right course of action is pursued.
“Should it be true we would urge the gentleman to contact police. He has not been dishonest but he has made himself a potential target by announcing he has come into money.”
Anyone with information regarding the discovery should contact police on 101