• Q: I received a letter saying that the state is holding unclaimed money for me and that this firm can get me the money for a fee. Is this a scam?
• A: It’s not necessarily a scam; there are a number of businesses that will recover unclaimed funds for a fee, but is not necessary. You can retrieve unclaimed funds yourself — for free — from the state’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property.
If a bank, insurance company, former employer or other financial institution owes you money and loses touch with you for five years, it must turn the funds over to the state you live in; in Florida, that’s the Department of Financial Services’ Bureau of Unclaimed Property (www.fltreasurehunt.org; 888-258-2253).