New program launches to find unclaimed money

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – There is almost $42 billion waiting to be returned to people by state unclaimed property programs.

A new, recently launched company helps people find that money, but there could be some security concerns if you aren’t careful.

A new San Francisco startup wants to connect you to money you never knew you had. Claimdog co-founder, Manu Lakkur, says the idea for the company started when he found a decade-old check that hadn’t been cashed at his parents’ house.

Users enter their names to see if there is unclaimed property in the U.S. The website’s goal is to make the process of getting money back easier.

“It can often involve printing out forms, printing out documentation, filling that out and mailing a physical package to the state,” said co-founder Devin Finzer.

While getting money you knew never knew you had can be a good thing, experts say it’s important to be mindful of the security risks when using programs to get unclaimed cash.

When going online to search for money you think you’re owed, you must submit your personal information. Privacy and technology expert Jill Bronfman says it’s different when you go through programs like Claimdog, instead of through the government.

“There is a layer of data collection in between the consumers and the government that could be problematic because Claimdog has to follow the law but they don’t have the same obligations that the government does,” Bronfman said.

In addition to unclaimed money programs, Ohioans can go the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Unclaimed Funds to find out it there’s any money they’re owed.

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