Thursday, January 7, 2010

You May Have Unclaimed Money! (And Possibly a Felony)

Have you ever seen those commercials on TV about people who are owed money and don't even know it?  They claim that you should go online and check to see if the government owes you money (or somewhere else).  Of course it makes it sound as if just about everyone will be able to find unclaimed money that belongs to them.  Personally I have to wonder how anyone could forget that there is money out there somewhere with his or her name on it.  If I was supposed to get a tax refund, I can guarantee that even if I moved a dozen times before my refund check was mailed, I would certainly be sure to let the government know how to find me so I could get my money! 

Anyway, today I checked my mail and got a letter in my box that doesn't belong to me.  It's the right address, just not the right addressee.  This woman wasn't even the previous owner - she was the previous, previous owner - and hasn't lived here in at least a dozen years.  There is in fact a distinct possibility that she is deceased.  We get these letters for her a few times a year, no matter how many times I send them back with a note that this person does not live here.  I've gotten to where I just throw them away, but today I decided to be nosy and I opened it!  (I'm pretty sure it's a federal offense to open someone else's mail.  Don't report me!)  Honestly I'm surprised I didn't open these things before now - the letter is from the State of South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services.  Whoa!  Doesn't that sound like a letter that's just begging to be read?  Was the sweet little old lady who used to live here an ex-con?  Did granny knock off a liquor store or something?  But imagine my surprise when I opened the letter it says this:

"According to our records, you appear to be the owner of some unclaimed funds.  Please be advised that we have monies pending that need to be disbursed to you." 

Whoa, again!  There really ARE people with unclaimed money!  Then my imagination started going again and I wondered why the department of jail stuff would owe her money.  Maybe she spent time in the pokey for knocking off a liquor store even though she was innocent!  She was convicted back in the day before DNA testing (surely the perp would have tossed back a brewski or two on the way out the door) and since then the Innocence Project has been working diligently to clear her name.  And now the state of SC has to pay her restitution for all those lost years.  It could happen! 

I have a feeling the truth is much different though, since the last line states this:

"If a response is not received within 90 days from the date of this notice, the funds will be reported as unclaimed and will be transferred to the Office of the Governor, State Office of Victim Assistance."

Uh-oh.  Victim Assistance?  Does this mean she was a victim of something?  Maybe she took someone to court and this is a payment of her settlement or something.  Now that I mention it, the letter is addressed to Jane, Doe with a long ID number of some sort that starts with a "V".  I hope it was something little like a fairly small car wreck or a pair of missing pants from the dry cleaner.  Or maybe they just donate any unclaimed money to Victim Assistance out of goodwill.  I guess I'll never know! 

Photo found here.


  1. Too funny! I've always wondered if I have unclaimed $$ somewhere. A girl can dream right?

  2. Now we have to find out, you have a mission to figure out this mystery. Please.

  3. I found this very interesting. I always thought someone somewhere has my money....

  4. Wow, this WAS interesting! Maybe she served time long ago and they forgot to pay her for her last week's slaving in the laundry?

  5. Or maybe the letter is just a scam. You know, you call the number, give them your bank info, and the next thing you know, you're bankrupt. But then I assume anything that sounds to good to be true is a scam.

  6. Kas - I'm dreaming right along with you. Although I hope when my time for unclaimed money comes, it won't be marked by an envelope with the words "Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services".

    Pseudo - It's not me or this lady apparently. Keep looking! :)

    Jen - I wish I could unravel the mystery! The only thing I know is that after her husband passed away, she moved to North Carolina somewhere to live with a daughter.

    Kathy - Could be! She WAS pretty good at keeping things clean. The woman who owned the house between the original ownership and my own says this lady had plastic runners in all the rooms to cover all the carpet. not just in the hallway or in a messy high-traffic area. Everywhere.

    NGIP - I'm sure it isn't a scam. It's definitely a governement envelope, and the letter is obviously official. I can spot a scam from a mile away. This one has no signs of being one. Though I'm sure there are some "you have unclaimed money" ads that ARE scams.

    "Hi, I am a prince from Nigeria, and I am here to inform you that you have some unclaimed money!"

  7. Surfie, the plastic runners in all the rooms makes me think of bloody crimes! Sort of a geriatric, female Dexter comes to mind.

  8. Linda - Hmmm...I guess it would make for easy clean-up! Maybe they used plastic sheeting for wallpaper, which they removed before they sold the house. It would explain why many of the rooms were never painted - just white primer over the drywall. *looks around suspiciously*