Despite What Scams May Say You Can Get Your Unclaimed Property Back Free

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a scam making the rounds that for a fee, you can find out if you have any unclaimed property. But you can stake the claim yourself, for free.

One in ten Pennsylvania residents has unclaimed property according to Jack Stollsteimer, Deputy State Treasurer.

“Unclaimed property is any financial asset that has not been claimed by the owner during a statutory period of time which is usually about three years,” he said. “It could be an uncashed check, it could be a life insurance policy benefit, (and) things that are left in a safety deposit box.”

He says there’s no need to pay to find out if the commonwealth is holding some of your property, just look on line at patreasury.gov.

You will have to prove your identity, but that can be done with a driver’s license.

Last year the state returned $190 million worth of property to the rightful owners.

More from Lynne Adkins
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  1. There are companies that specialize in finding people entitled to unclaimed money and unclaimed property, perhaps the best known being Heir Hunters International out of Los Angeles. In the main, such companies handle the “hard cases,” where the funds have been dormant for a significant period of time, more likely than not, because the original owner is deceased. In order to find to whom the funds belong, such cases involve a significant amount of research, which requires financial resources, for example, paying for researchers or for travel to libraries/courthouses/archives, often abroad. When approached by such a company, always run your name in the relevant databases, but also understand that your name may fail to appear. When dealing with an “heir hunter,” the golden rule is: legitimate “heir finders” never, ever ask for you to provide money up-front, but are paid out of the share the “missing heir” receives after the firm has secured the inheritance.

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