Unclaimed money could cost you your ID


Have you received a call, official-looking letter, post card, or email indicating you are a recipient of an unclaimed fund being held by a government agency? Your BBB serving Central California wants you to know these notifications are not from a government agency.

The notifications may be coming from private parties that retrieve your property information from public records.

These locators ask consumers to send them money in order to claim their fund. After consumers pay, what they usually receive is a list of agencies that can help them with information only or the locators may offer to sell the consumer information about the unclaimed fund for a percentage of the value of the fund.

You may ask yourself, what is an “Unclaimed Fund”? An unclaimed fund can be from tax refunds, utility deposits, loan refunds, paid-up life insurance policies, dormant checking or savings accounts, unpaid wages or even unused gift certificates.

Usually after three years, the State will enter this information when the business that owes you the money has lost track of you. At that point, the State takes possession of the property and tries to locate the owner. In California that agency is the State Controller’s Office.

According to the State Controller’s office, they have received complaints from the public about emails received from individuals who claim to work for the State Controller. The emails instruct the recipient to contact a private attorney to assist in recovering their lost and abandoned property. The State Controller does not send out unsolicited emails about unclaimed property, nor would they refer individuals to a private attorney.

If you receive similar solicitations, your BBB recommends you forward them to the Controller’s office at [email protected]

Your BBB strongly recommends that you do not respond to these false solicitations, as the senders are seeking personal information and will charge fees for recovering property that you can obtain for free.

Want to check if you have an unclaimed fund? Go to the California State Controller’s page at https://ucpi.sco.ca.gov/UCP/Default.aspx and you can search for unclaimed property under your name.

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