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How to Find Unclaimed Money Without Getting Scammed

How to Find Unclaimed Money Without Getting Scammed

The federal government is sitting on more than $164 million in taxpayer money, and more than $2 million belongs to people here in Washington state.

At the same time, the state is holding a pile of unclaimed money from other sources that people have yet to claim. That's the kind of news scammers and predators love to jump on.

Somewhere between filing their tax returns and collecting their refunds, thousands of people in our state seemingly disappeared.

"And we know that in King County alone, we're talking about just over a million dollars in refunds that are due King County taxpayers," said David Tucker of the IRS.

There's more than a million dollars in unclaimed tax refunds in King County, more than $2.5 million unclaimed statewide. That's 2,399 people with an average refund of more than $1,000.

The IRS says the refunds have gone unclaimed, because the addresses on the tax returns are no longer good. People have moved, gotten divorced, or been deployed overseas, but no change of address has been provided.

If you're still waiting for a federal tax refund, go the IRS website, find the page titled "where's my refund?" and complete the online form.

Only use the IRS website. Never respond to email claiming the IRS owes you money. That's a scam.

"We do not initiate communication by email, nor will we request personal information over the e-mail" Tucker stressed.

Scammers target people pretending to represent the IRS. Opportunists scour lists of people with money coming, and contact them, claiming to help for a fee. Do not respond.

Predators also target people with unclaimed money at the State Department of Revenue.The state's unclaimed property account is up to $750 million and climbing. That figure represents 3 million current or former state residents with money coming. Since the names are public record, some people try to make money by charging you for this free information.

Just go to the state's Unclaimed Property website and enter your name. There are similar sites for every state in the country.

Just make sure you're on the official government sites, because there are a lot of copy cats sites you need to avoid.


  • Wa
    Wallace Nolen - VT 13th of Nov, 2014

    People should go to the website which is the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators - an association of Chief Financial Officers from most states within the US and a few provinces in Canada. You will see a map when you go to the home page. Click on the state/province where you either lived/worked and do a search under your name, your relatives, neighbors, friends, and local companies.

    Like a PONZI scam, these CFO's seize people's money and personal property like dormant bank accounts, uncashed money orders, contents of safe deposit boxes like jewelry, stocks, bonds, coins, etc.

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