Unclaimed Money Reviews—Is Unclaimed Money a Scam?
If you google “unclaimed money,” you’ll see legitimate and shady websites galore. What all of them have in common is the promise of easy money waiting around for you to claim it. It seems too good to be true, so how do you discern the fake from the real?
DoNotPay will break down what unclaimed money is, which scams to look out for, and finally, how to safely check if there are any unclaimed funds under your name.
Is Unclaimed Money Legit?
Unclaimed funds are legit, and the amount of abandoned money may come as a shock. In 2013, the U.S. unclaimed property agencies held more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash. In 2015, they returned only $3.2 billion to its owners, so there are still plenty of abandoned assets.
How come people don’t claim their money? Mostly because they are not aware they have it or think that claiming the abandoned property is tiresome and futile.
What Counts as Unclaimed Money?
Here’s an overview of assets that could become unclaimed:
|Can Become Unclaimed Assets||Cannot Become Unclaimed Assets|
How Does Money Become Unclaimed?
If you’ve had multiple jobs, moved across the U.S., changed your contact information, or even your name, chances are, you might have some funds to claim. Check out the most common situations that bring about unclaimed money:
- Missing a paycheck
- Forgetting to claim a refund
- Not collecting the safety deposit
- Not being able to contact the heirs when a person dies
- Forgetting about an old bank account, so it becomes inactive
- Not being able to withdraw money when a bank closes down
Signs of an Unclaimed Money Scam
A foolproof way to detect an unclaimed property scam is if someone asks you for money. Searching for unclaimed money on your own on government-approved websites is free of charge. If you find assets in your name, you’ll get the full amount. Some legitimate third-party websites specialize in finding owners of unclaimed money and could require a fee, but only after they give you your money.
Scammers count on people’s unfamiliarity with the process of getting unclaimed funds and their need for extra cash.
Here are other common signs of scams:
- Someone asks for your personal info over the phone
- It’s essential to call them right away, or else you’ll lose your money
- You should pay them a fee before they give you more information
- They will help you find your unclaimed cash if you share your bank info first
- The caller cannot reveal much because it’s confidential, so you have to share your personal details first
Interestingly enough, people who were scammed usually did have unclaimed money. Since anyone can search the available databases for free, a lot of information is public. Scammers could contact you and tell you about a deceased relative who left you some money and provide veritable info to earn your trust.
Not only can scammers get someone’s unclaimed money, but they often manage to obtain the fee they asked for and so much personal info, including your Social Security number, that identity theft would not be a surprise.
Examples of Unclaimed Money Scams
Scammers contact unsuspecting people in numerous ways and often get lucky. There have been reports of scams through:
- Text messages
- Phone calls
A text-message scam that invites people to go on a website and put in their personal information was rampant in Idaho, Michigan, Louisiana, and New Jersey.
The letter scam was also widespread and believable since scammers used the heading of a legitimate website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).
Scammers Offering Unclaimed Money via Email
One of the most popular scams is the unclaimed money email scam. The first clue should be the email ending up in spam. But mention money, and people tend to react emotionally, not logically.
The email would say that they will help you find your unclaimed money if you call a 1-809 number as fast as possible. Scammers could also say that they’ll search for the money for a fee or 15% of whatever they find. What you don’t know is that you’ll be giving them money just by calling this shady number. Scammers then keep you on the line to extract more money, which will be visible once your phone bill arrives.
The unclaimed money email scam was reported in Ohio, Nevada, Maryland, and Louisiana.
How To Claim Unclaimed Money Without Getting Scammed
If you suspect foul play, the best way to check is to contact the state treasury or the financial institution that owes you money, according to the scammer.
The reliable sources to check if there are any abandoned funds under your name are:
- NAUPA—The website will redirect you to the particular State Treasurer or the appropriate MissingMoney page
Finding Unclaimed Money With DoNotPay Is Fast and Safe
Checking if you are owed some money can be overwhelming, especially if you moved across the U.S., and you have to check in multiple states. On top of this, you have to try and evade unclaimed money frauds. Not to worry—DoNotPay has a safe and simplified process designed to get you your money in no time!
Here’s how to use our Missing Money feature:
- Open DoNotPay in a web browser
- Select Missing Money
- Type in your personal info, including your middle name and previous addresses
- Click on Claim My Property when we find your unclaimed money
It’s that simple! We file a claim in your stead and get things in motion for you to receive what’s rightfully yours.
DoNotPay Helps in More Ways Than One!
Scammers are getting more skilled at tricking people and getting paid. Luckily, DoNotPay is well-versed in dealing with them and freeing you of potential threats.
That’s not all! Open DoNotPay in your web browser, and let us help you:
- Start free trials without any risks
- Find any unclaimed money under your name
- Fight speeding tickets
- Apply for clinical trials near you
- Request a refund and compensation for a delayed or canceled flight
- Get in touch with your incarcerated loved ones
- Block text message spam
- Sign up for services without phone verification
- Terminate your subscriptions or memberships
- Appeal parking tickets
- Request a refund from any company
- Take people and companies to small claims court
- Schedule a DMV appointment quickly
- Contest traffic tickets
- File a claim for any warranty
- Waive college application fees
- Resolve your credit card issues
- Handle bills you cannot pay
- Block spam emails for good
- Protect your work against copyright infringement
- Protect yourself from stalking and harassment
- Jump the phone queue when contacting customer service reps
- Get revenge on annoying robocalls