As unclaimed property programs come into effect in Canada, companies inevitably pop up offering to do searches for a fee. Scammers may present themselves as representatives of a government agency or a property locator service, promising to recover unclaimed property or money for a fee. However, you can search for forgotten property or money on provincial and state websites free of charge.
For a list of other jurisdictions that offer this service for free, visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators’ (NAUPA) website or missingmoney.com. If you feel that you are owed money by a business or government agency, contact them directly.
New Brunswick’s Unclaimed Property legislation limits third-party compensation to 10 per cent or less of the value of the found property (Section 16 in General Rule).
Tips to help keep your money safe:
- Be wary of unsolicited communications: Scammers often initiate contact via emails, letters, or phone calls about unclaimed property. If you receive unsolicited communication stating you have unclaimed money, be cautious.
- Verify the source: If you're unsure about the legitimacy of a claim, contact FCNB.
- Refrain from sharing personal information: Do not provide personal or financial information unless you have verified the source and confirmed the claim.
- Do your research: Use official provincial or state databases to search for unclaimed property yourself.