“We can recover your lost money, Mr. Miller…”

I do not appreciate attempts by telemarketers, scammers or fraudsters to separate me from my money.  I don’t.  Not in the least.  And that includes the person calling from “Internal Revenue Service” with their satellite office in Bangalore, telling me I’m being sued for back taxes.  He got dumbfounded when I simply repeated all his questions back to him.  “You want my name and phone number?  Didn’t you just call my phone number?  You claim I’m part of a lawsuit, why can’t you tell me MY name and phone number?”  CLICK  Telemarketers and scammers are stupid, throw rocks at them.

So last Monday, when I received a letter from an organization called Fletcher Recovery Group, alerting me that New York’s Office of the State Comptroller has money for me, and that Fletcher Recovery Group would be more than happy to retrieve it for me, for a small processing fee – I was immediately suspicious.  I’m already twitchy about these nasty scammers as it is…

And as we all know, there is Chuck Miller’s Theory of Financial Siphonation – “You can pay a fortune for someone to do something that you can do by yourself for free.”

So I read through the solicitation letter.  According to the letter, there’s unclaimed money waiting for me that was supposed to be delivered to me in 2015 from Google; but it went to my old address in Pine Hills (I moved to Green Island in 2010), and was eventually forwarded to the Office of the State Comptroller of New York.  And if I want this money, all I need to do is pay a small transaction fee to Fletcher Recovery Group, plus a percentage on the lost money to Fletcher Recovery Group, and Fletcher Recovery Group would acquire the funds, deduct their vigorish, and send me a check for the remainder.

Right.  And Lynda Carter will knock on my door, bringing me the check in her bullet-deflecting bracelet-wearing hand.

Still, there was something about the letter that intrigued me.  I’ve heard stories about money that was previously undelivered, and that said money resides in a vault at the State Comptroller’s office.  Maybe there’s some riches out there for me.

But why should I pay someone else to do my work for me?  Certainly there must be a way I can recover these funds myself, without having to pay a middleman for the effort.

And a quick search revealed that – yes – I could recover the monies myself.  In other words, I’m all right Jack, keep your hands off of my stack, and don’t give me any do goody-good bull .

All I needed to do was visit the New York State Comptroller’s website, and click on the link for the Office of Unclaimed Funds.  Yeah, I know the acronym for that is OUF, as in “Ouf, we forgot to give you your money.”  Sorry, I’m just egging you on right now.

The website asked for my contact information.  After confirming that yes, it was the website of the Office of the State Comptroller and not some redirect website from some former Soviet republic looking to scam me of my personal info, I filled out the online form and hit send.

There were over 260 “Charles Miller” entries on the site.  One of those “Charles Miller” entries had a Pine Hills address – at the exact address I called home from 1994 to 2010.  And the listing said I had outstanding money from Google waiting for me.

Woah.  It wasn’t a joke.

The website asked for my Social Security number, my telephone number, my e-mail contact and my current address – and once the information was processed, I would receive a check for the unclaimed funds within two weeks.

I checked the website again yesterday.  And sure enough, my funds had been approved and a check was on its way to me.  A check for $______________________.

Yeah, they didn’t tell me how much.

Now before I get my hopes up, let’s understand the wonderful world of reality.  I’m probably not receiving thousands of dollars.  Maybe not even hundreds of dollars.  My suspicion is that I’ve probably got a $10 check if I’m lucky.  Or better yet, that check might have a smaller return than the postage it cost to send it to me.  And can you imagine if I had to pay someone to recover those pennies?  Plus a processing fee?  It wouldn’t be “found money” for me, it would be “found money” for them.

So … resolved.  Whatever money I get from Google, whether it’s all about the Benjamins or really about the Washingtons – whatever money I receive, I’m just going to add it to my Dracourage car payment.  Best case scenario?  It’s one less car payment I must make on the Chevrolet Cruze.  Worst case scenario?  It’s one less penny I must pay on the Chevrolet Cruze.

So yeah, you can also check that website at the link above.  Fill out your name and info, and if your address comes up – then you too might have a check on its way to you.  Aces.

As for me… I’ll wait.

Tick.

Tock.

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8 thoughts on ““We can recover your lost money, Mr. Miller…””

  1. Now you can afford to take me to lunch. I’ve checked that Comptroller’s site in the past. NOTHING for me. No abandoned account when I lived in Jamaica Queens. NUTS

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  2. Perhaps a refund from that horrible company that never developed your film, part of a class action suit against them?? Nah, that wouldn’t have been your old address. Hmmmm, very curious! Hope it’s HUGE! (said in a Billy Fucillo kind of voice!!)

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  3. Thanks for the reminder, Chuck.
    Like Roger, I used to check this on occasion. Always came up empty, so I gave up.
    Just tried it again, and found a couple of entries for one of my kids!

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  4. I’ve also checked in the past and got nothing! Congratulations on your “windfall”. (Or maybe just a light breeze-fall!)

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  5. As with the Fletcher Group, 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. Finally, there should have been, at the least, a shout out to Fletcher Group, as they alerted to the existence of the funds, which you admittedly did not know about.

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    1. Actually, Mr. Hilbert (of Heir Hunters International), I did credit Fletcher with alerting me to the existence of this money. But as you are not a regular reader of my blog, I should let you know that I have been inundated with telemarketers, spammers, scammers and swindlers of late. They have come through my cell phone, through my e-mail, and even through my postal mail, trying to separate me from my money. And the simple fact regarding all of this is … I still have absolutely no idea how much money (if any) I am to receive in this windfall. If I receive anything more than 25 cents in this whole endeavor, it’ll be a miracle.

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      1. Mr. Miller, I stand corrected and grats on your good fortune. In the business of heir hunting, the biggest obstacle is convincing someone that it is not a scam. Thank you for posting your blog. Best, John Hilbert

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