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Video: La. resident gets repaid for her kindness

By Tiki Barber NBC correspondent
NBC News
updated 2/21/2007 2:23:34 PM ET 2007-02-21T19:23:34

In a rough economic time like this one, who couldn't use some extra cash?

There's billions of dollars of unclaimed cash out there.

Welcome to the wonderful little secret called unclaimed property: It could be an old paycheck, stock note, or inheritance that’s owed to you.  When no one claims these valuables, they’re eventually turned over to a state— where they may languish for years.  On “Dateline,” we showed people who were happy to discover they had forgotten treasure.

Most states don’t have the staff come out and find you. But if it’s there, you can find it on your own. 

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All you have to do is use the links above, or log onto unclaimed.org (not unclaimed.com). Just pick a state you or any member of your family has ever worked in or played in, type in the name, and within seconds you can find out if this is your lucky day. It is all absolutely free, and you should exercise caution in accepting any offers from paid finders. (Also note that unclaimed.org seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties, so you may have to check back at a later time.)

You can also use this link to be directed to the unclaimed property Web sites of 32 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

And don’t say “it could never happen to me.” Some states have billions of dollars to give away. Some people never dreamed there was money just waiting for them... that is, until the day “Dateline” came knocking on their doors.

And while finding the money is easy, some warnings:

  • Never pay anyone to get your own money back.
  • There are companies that will call or send you a letter stating they've found money for you-- but they'll want to take a cut of your money... as much as 30 or 40 percent and there is absolutely no need for it.
  • Every state has a free online database where you can check your name.

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