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How to find missing money

from forgotten accounts

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At any one time experts suggest there is between £15-£20 billion lost in the financial system. Some of it belongs to people who have died but the majority has just been forgotten.

An example of lost money would be a small pension policy from a job you had 30 years ago, since when the original company has been taken over by a rival meaning theoretically it doesn't exist any more.

For those who think they've lost track of an account the good news is that there are many organisations that can help you track down and find these assets.

Here are some common areas where missing money concealed -

  • Dormant building society and bank account
  • Old pension plan
  • Premium Bonds
  • Unclaimed lottery prizes
  • Forgotten life insurance policies
  • Shares and unclaimed dividends
How to find missing money
Tracing missing money can take some time especially if the accounts are old and you don't know exactly what to look for. But here are some organisations that can help -
Be wary of the scam companies

As ever when where money is involved, or in this case the potential of money being reclaimed, we have to be on the lookout for the scammers.

There are some companies operating on the web that will offer to help you find missing cash or securities, but only for a large fee. Most of them work in one of 2 ways -

  • Premium rate telephone number - Get you to pay large amounts for telephone support at £1.50 a minute although it's normally nothing but a recorded message lasting 5-10 minutes
  • Advance fee scam - Take a fee upfront of between £25-£200 but then deliver nothing - in my opinion they won't do any work for you, their aim is simply to collect your fee
So be clever, steer clear of any company that offers to help trace unclaimed bank accounts or assets for a fee.

Instead make use of the government agencies listed above. Yes, there might be a charge for using their services but this is small in relation to what the scam companies charge and all the institutions listed above are 100% legitimate.

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