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.