How to Track Down Unclaimed Money
The genre of unclaimed funds is something that's a bit contested among the public at large.
It's one of those things that exist, yet its existence is all tied up in a lot of different scams.
Due to the myriad of scams that have existed in the age of the Internet, people are very skeptical about being owed money. Nigerian Prince scams, and the unclaimed funds phone-call scam, all stand in stark contrast to the reality of unclaimed money being a real thing. So, when people think about the fact that they might be owed money by some entity, they usually brush the thought off and just assume that it's a scam.
Well, according to South Carolina's official Treasury Department, they're sitting currently with an excess of $750 million in unclaimed funds, and every state in America has a lot of money hanging out there.
How is this even possible? The fact is that many private businesses are legally obligated to return overpayments, payments paid to a defunct business, insurance rebates, etc. The issue here, of course, is that a lot of people move, or they have inaccurate information, and so their money ends up legally returned, so to speak, and this ends up with a treasury office somewhere.
Depending on your state, the location of the money may be different. However, this money ends up somewhere; it doesn't just vanish.
Knowing how to properly track this down can potentially lead you to some unclaimed money that you never knew existed.
In these times of inflation, bordering hyperinflation, every little bit helps. So knowing how to navigate this field might just help you find some money.
Check Online with Correct Information
There are different sites you can go to in order to track down any potential unclaimed money.
One thing to avoid here is a site that will demand you sign up and give over credit card information. No, there are no legitimate sites out there that make you pay a membership fee in order to track down your money. The reason you know this is a scam is the fact that you can track down this money for free.
If you know the right treasury office to check, for instance, then you get this information for free. So, if a website is trying to charge you for this, just move on.
Once you've found a good website that you can trust, you need to make sure that you're providing accurate information. So many people are distrusting that they'll change their birthdate and their address and phone number, and what happens is that you end up missing out on any unclaimed funds that are being held for those specific details.
Make sure that you look up the site reviews so you know you can trust to give them your accurate information. If not, you will very likely not find any money.
While the money doesn't technically vanish, it might still be spent.
For instance, say that your former insurance company got bought out or went bankrupt, but before that happened they tried to pay you a rebate of $3,000 to a previous address. They couldn't find you, but they have to pay this money to you by law. So, it ends up in some state office somewhere.
You can never expect the state to actually contact you about this.
In fact, while they're obligated to give you the money if asked, they would much rather you not ask. The reason is that if you don't claim your funds in X amount of time (it differs by state), then the state is going to use this money for its own funding. Roads, schools, government salaries, etc; your unclaimed money will eventually be used for their purposes.
So it's important that you act as soon as possible to look into your potential unclaimed money. If you're waiting years to do this, the state may have already spent your money, and they will be very slow to make this up to you.
There is no guarantee that you are owed any money, but it definitely doesn't hurt to check. Just make sure you find a reputable website to search on, and you might end up very pleasantly surprised at the results.