How to Track Down Unclaimed Money

Kelly Cooke
Published Oct 24, 2023

How to Track Down Unclaimed Money

Unclaimed funds face a lot of skepticism due to scams like Nigerian Prince and phone-call scams. 

But unclaimed money is very real. 

South Carolina alone holds $750 million. Other states hold some too. 

This comes from insurance rebates, overpayments that businesses must return, and other inaccuracies that leave money unclaimed. 

In times of inflation, knowing how to navigate this field can be valuable.


Here are two tips to start your quest for unclaimed money.


1. Check Online Using Your Correct Information

When doing this, know that legitimate sites won't charge fees. 

Avoid sites that ask for your credit card info.

It also helps to check site reviews before giving your information.

Provide correct, updated details to avoid withheld or misdelivered funds. 

Be cautious but accurate.
 

2. Act Quickly

While the money doesn't technically vanish, it might still be spent.

For instance, say an insurance company went bankrupt.

Maybe before that happened they tried to pay you a rebate of $3,000.

They sent it to an old address of yours and couldn't find you. 

But they still have to pay you by law, so your money ends up in a state office.

That state office won’t contact you on their own. 

Reason: if you don't claim your funds in X amount of time (it differs by state), the state can use that unclaimed money for their own funding – roads, schools, government salaries, etc.


Lastly, keep in mind that there's never any guarantee that you are owed money — unclaimed or otherwise.

But, it definitely doesn't hurt to check. Just make sure to:
(1) find a reputable website to search on, and 
(2) brace yourself for a pleasant surprise.


Read more:
The State By State Guide To Unclaimed Assets
How To Get Your Forgotten Or Lost Money Without Breaking The Bank

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