The way to find out if you’re on the list is simple: Check out Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Unclaimed Funds website or missingmoney.com and search your name.
There is no deadline to claim your funds. All funds stay with the department until they are claimed.
The department registers “finders” who help people recover their funds for a fee of no more than 10 percent, but you do not have to enlist the help of a finder if you want to pursue your funds on your own.
Finders are registered through the department and get a registration number. If you contact someone, or someone contacts you, claiming to be a registered finder, ask for their registration number and call ODC to verify.
Where do these unclaimed funds come from?
Superintendent of the Division of Unclaimed Funds, Akil Hardy, says it could come from a bank account, stocks, bonds, utility deposits or the last check from a previous employer.
By law, claims have to be reviewed within 120 days, but Hardy says it takes much less time than that for people to receive their unclaimed property.
Seem too good to be true?
Well, it might be: The department says there are seemingly endless stories of criminals using technology as a means to commit identity theft or defraud people out of their money.
The unclaimed funds found through ODC are the targets of these scams, whether online or over the phone.
If a solicitor is asking for your personal information (address, name, photos of ID or Social Security card, etc) upfront, claiming to be an unclaimed funds finder or someone from their office, don’t hesitate to reach out to ODC to verify its legitimacy.
It hasn’t happened in Ohio yet, but the department says they’ve been hearing from other states about people being targeted on social media, too.
ODC encourages people to remain vigilant and proactive about their personal information.
All businesses are required to report whether they have unclaimed funds or not and the deadline is Nov. 1. Except for life insurance companies — their deadline is May 1. Businesses can file their reports electronically through the Ohio Business Gateway.