The safest free way to find unclaimed money and avoid scams is to search each possible source of money individually. These sources include state governments, previous employers, previous or current banks and the IRS. This method of searching for unclaimed money is recommended by the U.S. government.
No official federal index of unclaimed money exists. Sites that charge a fee and claim to run an official government search for unclaimed money are typically fraudulent. None of these sites are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. government, and the federal government warns against doing business with these sites.
Some state governments compile databases of unclaimed money and property. The federal government provides a listing of state government-run unclaimed money sites on its unclaimed money information page. State governments do not contact individuals to inform them of unclaimed money; unsolicited telephone or email contact regarding unclaimed money from anyone claiming to be from a state government is fraudulent.
Legitimate sources of unclaimed money from the government include unclaimed federal or state pensions, tax refunds returned as undeliverable, matured savings bonds, and insurance refunds from FHA mortgage loans. Private sector sources of unclaimed money include private pensions, unclaimed funds from banks and credit unions and payments from Securities and Exchange Commission claims against companies.