August 14, 2013- Have you received a call, official-looking letter, post
card, or email stating you are a recipient of an unclaimed fund being held by a
government agency? Your BBB 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 EOInquiry@sco.ca.gov
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