Unclaimed funds are funds that belong to interested individuals but haven’t found their way to their hands for a wide range of reasons. For example, people might have lost track of said funds. Likewise, people might not have been aware of their existence in the first place. Whatever the exact cause for their existence, there are a lot of unclaimed funds out there, as shown by the fact that state governments pay out more than $3 billion in unclaimed funds to their owners on an annual basis.
With that said, it is important to note that unclaimed funds can take on a wide range of forms. Some examples of unclaimed funds include insurance claims, old bank accounts, and the settlements of class-action lawsuits. Based on this, it should come as no surprise to learn that it can be rather difficult for interested individuals to find unclaimed funds on their own because of the sheer amount of search that is involved.
How Can You Find and Claim Unclaimed Funds?
Fortunately, interested individuals don’t have to do the searching on their own. So long as there are enough people interested in a particular service, there are parties out there that will step up to fill the vacuum in the market. For proof, look no further than the fact that there are a number of reliable and reputable websites that exist for the sole purpose of helping interested individuals look up the unclaimed funds that might belong to them.
One example would be MissingMoney.com, which contains records of unclaimed property for most of the states as well as one of the provinces of Canada. Better still, if interested individuals can find something that belongs to them through the website, they can make a claim to it through the website as well, thus making it that much more convenient. Naturally, there is no cost for this service, which is why MissingMoney.com should appeal to a lot of people out there.
Having said that, none of these websites are perfect, which is why interested individuals might want to look up more than one website for the sake of being able to conduct a comprehensive search. As such, another useful website is Unclaimed.org, which can provide interested individuals with the information that they need to contact their state government in search of unclaimed funds. Something that might prove necessary if they happen to live in one of the states that aren’t covered by MissingMoney.com’s service.
Besides these two websites, there are others that people might be interested in. For example, the FDIC and the National Credit Union Administration have lists of unclaimed insured deposits from banks and other businesses that have closed down, which might concern some interested individuals out there. Likewise, if people think that they are owed backpay by one of their previous employers, they might want to look up the Wage and Hour Division, which is one of the segments of the Department of Labor. Other places of interest include but are not limited to the VA, the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Why Should You Be Careful?
With that said, interested individuals need to be careful when searching for the unclaimed funds that may or may not exist for them. After all, since there is so much interest in unclaimed funds, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are plenty of malicious individuals out there who want to capitalize on that interest by running scams of various sorts.
Fortunately, there are some things that interested individuals can do to minimize their chances of getting scammed by said individuals. For starters, interested individuals should know that the above-mentioned websites will not ask them to pay for their services, though some of them might come with a minimal handling fee should interested individuals actually lay claim to something through them. Furthermore, there are legitimate businesses out there that will help interested individuals do the footwork of finding unclaimed funds for them in exchange for a fee, though whether that is worth it or not will vary from person to person. However, interested individuals should always be suspicious of anyone who claims to have unclaimed funds for them once they have either provided their personal information or sent a sizable sum of money. Partly, this is because government agencies aren’t likely to contact said individuals, not least because most of them are forbidden from doing so. However, it should also be noted that someone who asks for money upfront is 100 percent a scammer because legitimate businesses will only ask for payment if they actually manage to find something noteworthy.