Be Wary of Unclaimed Property “Finders”

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The Louisiana Department of the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division has received several complaints from Louisiana residents who have been contacted by individuals offering to help locate unclaimed property for a fee.  These people are known as “finders.”  They are not affiliated with the state’s Unclaimed Property Division.  Louisiana residents who have been contacted by finders wonder if it would be easier to pay someone to help them locate their unclaimed property.  You do not have to pay for this service, because the state offers it for free.

A finder may contact you by phone, letter, email or pop-up Internet message.  The finder will say that he or she has found lost money for you or can locate missing money for a price.  The cost of the service can be anything from a flat rate, a percentage of the money found, the price of postage, to a donation for the services performed.  It is against Louisiana law for finders to charge fees in excess of 10 percent of the value of the unclaimed property.

Even if a finder contacts you directly, it does not necessarily mean you are actually owed unclaimed property.  The worst unclaimed property finder scams prey on Louisiana citizens who need extra money the most, like the poor and elderly.  The Treasury gets in new, lost money almost daily, and we have information on $437 million in unclaimed property belonging to Louisiana residents.  We have the most current and complete unclaimed property records out there.  If you are owed unclaimed property, a finder will have no more information about it than you could find on your own using our free tools.

We hope to continue to get the word out so citizens won’t be tricked into paying companies to locate unclaimed property, especially if individuals aren’t owed money from the state.  To search for unclaimed property for free in Louisiana, visit the Treasury’s official website at www.latreasury.com.  We update our website regularly and offer unlimited unclaimed property searches for free.  It’s never been easier to search or file a claim for your money.

Citizens without internet access can call the Unclaimed Property Division toll-free at (888) 925-4127 to search for missing money or to report scams.  The office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm.  You can also check for unclaimed property with any other state you may have lived in by visiting www.missingmoney.com.  This site is affiliated with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators and is endorsed by the Louisiana Department of the Treasury.