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The State Compendium of Unclaimed Property PracticesFinancial LiteracyPersonal Finance


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"Money" via Dustin Moore on Flickr, Creative Commons licensed

“Money” via Dustin Moore on Flickr, Creative Commons licensed

You may already know that every state has an unclaimed funds website that aims to reunite unclaimed property with the rightful owners. However, in the endeavor to provide consumers with as much information as possible, that information is also often easily viewable by potential identity thieves.

The State Compendium of Unclaimed Property Practices ranks every state (and D.C.) according to how much specific information about a person is provided online without user verification. The standard for “specific information” kicks in when a street address is correlated with a name (the best rating only goes to states that let users see Name and City or ZIP Code) and increases with the amount of information that can be used for the purpose of fraud.

We reached out to every state that only received one star in our ranking system for comment. Those comments are listed below with the state’s ranking.

The Methodology

**** Very Good

Name, City or ZIP Code, General Amount Unclaimed

This rating goes to states that reveal the very least amount of personally identifiable information (PII).

*** Good

The above + Street Address and type of debt with no information that could be tied to a specific company.

This rating is similar to the best rating, but because it includes a specific street address, it provides a non-verified person a more granular kind of PII, one that is often used in many verification processes.

** Not Good

The above + Specifics regarding the party holding the debt. States get two stars even if no Street Address is included.

If a fraudster knows where you live and the names of places where you’ve done business, they can trick a third party into releasing more information about you.

* Bad

The above + Exact Amount Unclaimed.

As with the above rating, this one goes to a state that provides exact amounts, because knowing an exact figure provides a scammer with more information to use when trying to trick a third party.

Alabama **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (“$25-100, “greater than $100”).

How Claims Work: There’s an online form or you can request a form by mail, both of which need to be mailed (or brought) to the Unclaimed Property Office to start the process. The online form requires full name, address, phone number and relation to the unclaimed property. No Social Security number is requested online.

Alaska **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), No Amount Shown.

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides this service for Alaska, complying with state laws. Information required: full name, address. No Social Security number requested online. This initiates contact from the state’s Treasury Division.

Arizona ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address.

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides this service for Arizona, complying with state laws. Information required to initiate a claim with the state’s Unclaimed Property Unit: full name, address, phone. Social Security number is requested online, but not required.

Arkansas **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (over/under $100). Site allows users to narrow search by entering Social Security number.

How Claims Work: The Arkansas Auditor of State provides an online claim form that requires full name, address, email address, phone number, Social Security number and date of birth.

California *

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), Exact Amount when cash or like. When the property needs to be assessed or valued, the state lists the business holding the property, the type of property, general value of property (over/under $100), date reported, owner and owner address.

How Claims Work: California’s online form requires the following information: Relation to the unclaimed property and name if not the same as the record being claimed, Social Security number, date of birth and address.

A representative of the California State Controller’s Office told Credit.com, “The California State Controller has a fraud detection unit that takes proactive measures to ensure property is returned to the rightful owners.  We have no evidence that the limited online information leads to fraud.”

Colorado **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, City, ZIP Code, Property Type, Reported By, General Amount (under/over $100).

(This star rating is based on the information available on MissingMoney.com, which differs from what is made available on the state’s unclaimed property site.)

How Claims Work: Colorado provides an online form that requires full name, address, phone number, relationship to the owner. Optional information: fax, email, gender, date of birth of the owner and previous addresses.

Connecticut ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address.

How Claims Work: Connecticut provides an online form that requires name, address, phone number and email address.

Delaware ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address.

How Claims Work: If you have a claim in Delaware, you have to fill out a form that requires name, address, phone number, relationship to the owner, Social Security number or FEIN, email address and the form must include a photocopy of government-issued identification.

Washington, D.C. **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By, General Amount (under/over $100).

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the DC Office of Finance and Treasury claim process, which requires relationship to name on the property, name and address, and includes optional fields for email, phone and Social Security number.

Florida **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization).

How Claims Work: Florida provides an online form that requires name (including middle name), address, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number if the claimant has one, current address, email address and phone number.

Georgia ****

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, City.

How Claims Work: You can request a claim form by using an online form, which requires relationship to the owner, name, address and phone number.

Hawaii *

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), Exact Amount.

How Claims Work: The Unclaimed Property Branch of Hawaii’s Department of Budget and Finance provides an online form that generates a Claim for Property Presumed Abandoned. Required information: relationship to owner, name, address, phone number, Social Security number, date of birth and documentation required includes a copy of current government-issued identification, copy of document proving reported address or that you’ve conducted business with the reporting company. In some cases, notarized documents are also required.

A representative of the Hawaii Department of Budget and Finance told Credit.com, “We carefully evaluated the amount and type of information to be provided and consulted with our legal counsel to ensure that no sensitive personal information was being provided. We believe that the information provided to a potential claimant allows them to determine if the property listed may belong to them and follow-up with a claim. Our claim verification process is quite vigorous to ensure that claims are being paid to the appropriate owner of the funds.”

Idaho ****

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, City, Exact Amount up to $5 then General Amount ($5-25, $25-50, $50-100 and $100+).

(Idaho gets four stars because there is no way to connect the amount claimed with a company.)

How Claims Work: The State Treasurer’s Office of Idaho provides an online claim form that requires relationship to property, name, Social Security number, driver’s license or ID number, driver’s license address, phone number and an option to donate your property.

Illinois **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (less than/greater than $100).

How Claims Work: Illinois provides an online form that you have can send electronically or mail in, which requires name, address, Social Security number, phone number and the claimant’s relationship to the property.

Indiana *

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), Exact Amount.

How Claims Work: Indiana provides an online form that gives visitors a choice between registering to speed the process in the future or making a claim as a guest. Required information includes Name, Current Address, phone number, date of birth, email and there is a non-required field for the last four digits of the Social Security number.

Jaime Barb, marketing director for the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, told Credit.com, “By providing the public record initially we are hoping to eliminate the use of a finder, which can charge up to 10% of the property amount.  Providing the claimant the information up front, they are more likely to use our service for free.  That being said, we are highly aware of the fraud issue and as you may know, Indiana is the only state in which the Unclaimed Property Division falls under the Attorney General’s office.  This works to our advantage in that we have an entire investigative division in house and specific to unclaimed property. In addition, we also have a proactive team that works to reach out to rightful owners directly on higher dollar claims to reduce fraud and to ensure those large dollar amounts are reaching the rightful owners.”

Iowa *

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), Exact Amount.

How Claims Work: You can create a form online with name and address. The form requires a Social Security number and has to be notarized.

This state did not respond to a request for comment.

Kansas **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), amount is provided with claims form.

How Claims Work: Claimants need to register with the site to get more information. Registration requires email address, mailing address and a phone number.

Kentucky **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount.

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the Kentucky State Treasury claim process, which requires relationship to name on the property, name and address, and includes fields for email, phone and Social Security number.

Louisiana ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, General Amount ($25-50, $50-100, etc).

How Claims Work: You have to register to make a claim, which requires name, address, email and phone number.

Maine **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount.

How Claims Work: Maine’s Unclaimed Property Search and Claim interface provides an online claim process, which requires relationship to the property, name, Social Security number, date of birth, current mailing address, phone number and an acceptance of terms. The form provides input areas for driver’s license information, but it is not required.

Maryland ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address.

How Claims Work: The Comptroller of Maryland provides a form that can be downloaded as a PDF. The form requires name of claimant, Social Security number, address, phone number, original owner name and Social Security number (if different), copy of driver’s license or ID, copy of Social Security card or document containing Social Security number, bank documents, proof of affiliation, letters of administration, death certificates and a signature.

Massachusetts **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, City, Property Type, Reported By, General Amount (Yes/No under $100+).

(This star rating is based on the information available on MissingMoney.com, which differs from what is made available on the state’s unclaimed property site.)

How Claims Work: The Treasurer and Receiver General of Massachusetts provides an online form to submit a claim that requires name, Social Security number, current address and email.

Michigan **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, City, Reported By (specific company/organization).

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the State of Michigan’s claim process, which requires relationship to name on the property, name, address and Social Security number.

Minnesota **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (under/over $100).

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the State of Minnesota’s claim process, which requires relationship to name on the property, name, address and Social Security number.

Mississippi ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, General Amount, (over/under $100).

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the State of Mississippi’s claim process, which requires relationship to name on the property, name, address and phone number. There is an option to include a Social Security number.

Missouri ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Exact Amount under $5, then General Amount (over/under $50/$100). Missouri gets three stars because the amount is not tied to a specific company.

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the State of Missouri’s claim process, which requires relationship to name on the property, name, address and phone number.

Montana **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, City, Reported By (specific company/organization).

How Claims Work: Montana’s Department of Revenue requires Social Security number, address, email, phone, driver’s license information (including expiration date), direct deposit information for payment and depending on the property documents proving ownership.

Nebraska **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, County, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount.

(This star rating is based on the information available on MissingMoney.com, which differs from what is made available on the state’s unclaimed property site.)

How Claims Work: Name is autofilled in Nebraska’s claim form, but claimants have to supply the State Treasurer’s Office with a Social Security number, date of birth, addresses the claimant has resided in for the past 10 years as well as current contact information.

Nevada *

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount.

How Claims Work: The Nevada State Treasurer provides an online claim form that requires Social Security number, date of birth, name, address and phone number.

Grant Hewitt, Nevada State Treasurer’s Office Chief of Staff, told Credit.com, “The information provided on the Unclaimed Property Division website is intended to allow the rightful owner to easily find and identify their unclaimed property. The claims process has safeguards in place to protect against fraudulent claims submittals.”

New Hampshire **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, City, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (under/over $100).

(This star rating is based on the information available on MissingMoney.com, which differs from what is made available on the state’s unclaimed property site.)

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the State of New Hampshire’s claim process, which requires relationship to name on the property, name, address and email.

New Jersey ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address.

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the State of New Jersey’s claim process, which requires an electronic signature, relationship to name on the property, name, address, phone number, email address and Social Security number.

New Mexico **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (under over $100).

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the State of New Mexico’s claim process, which requires relationship to name on the property, name, address, phone number and email address.

New York **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), Number of owners, Year reported.

How Claims Work: Site requires Social Security number before you can go any further in the claim process.

North Carolina ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, General Amount ($50 or greater/less than $50).

(This star rating is based on the information available on MissingMoney.com, which differs from what is made available on the state’s unclaimed property site.)

How Claims Work: North Carolina provides an online process that requires a Social Security number, name, address, phone number and email address.

North Dakota **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Reported By (specific company/organization).

How Claims Work: North Dakota Unclaimed Property provides an online form that generates a claim. The claim must be accompanied by a copy of a driver’s license with picture ID as well as a copy of documentation that shows Social Security Number and documents that prove that claimant has done business with the organization that reported the unclaimed property.

Ohio **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (over/under $100).

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides Ohio’s Division of Unclaimed Funds with its claim process, which requires relationship to name on the property, name and address.

Oklahoma ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, General Amount (under/over $100).

How Claims Work: Oklahoma State Treasurer provides an online form that requires name of owner, relationship to owner, status of owner (living), Social Security number of owner, name, address and SSN of claimant (if different) and a phone number.

Oregon ***

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, General Amount, Year Reported.

How Claims Work: Oregon.gov provides an online claim form that requires registration as well as name, address, email, phone number and relationship to the owner. There is a box for Social Security number, but it is not required.

Pennsylvania **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, City, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount.

How Claims Work: Pennsylvania’s Treasury provides an online State Claim inquiry form generator that requires name, address, email address, relationship to owner and phone number. There are optional fields for Social Security number and date of birth.

Rhode Island **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (over/under $100).

How Claims Work: MissingMoney.com provides the claim process for Rhode Island’s Office of the General Treasurer, which requires relationship to name on the property, name, address, phone number, email address and Social Security number. Date of birth is optional.

South Carolina **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount.

How Claims Work: South Carolina provides an online claim form that requires name, address, phone number, email address and last four digits of Social Security number.

South Dakota *

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), Exact Amount up to $250, thereafter listed as “amount greater than $250.”

How Claims Work: South Dakota provides its own online claim form that requires name, address, relationship to owner, with the option to include Social Security number and driver’s license.

MissingMoney.com also provides a claim process for South Dakota’s Office of the State Treasurer, which requires relationship to name on the property, name, address, phone number, email address and Social Security number.

South Dakota State Treasurer Rich Sattgast told Credit.com: “Our Unclaimed Property Division aims to make the claimant process simple while ensuring the information presented complies with federal and state laws. Providing a sufficient amount of information on our website allows individuals to easily find and identify their lost property.”

Tennessee **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (general type), Exact Amount up to $250, then listed as “greater than $250.”

How Claims Work: Tennessee provides an online claim process, which requires relationship to owner, name, address, Social Security number, driver’s license information, date of birth, phone number and a multiple choice reason for the claim search.

Texas *

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Reported By (specific company/organization), Year Reported, Exact Amount and Co-Owner.

How Claims Work: Texas Unclaimed Property provides an online process that requires relationship to the owner, name, Social Security number, address, phone number and choice regarding delivery of claim form.

This state did not respond to a request for comment.

Utah **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (over/under $100).

How Claims Work: Utah’s official site for unclaimed property provides an online form that requires Social Security number, name, address, email address and phone number.

Vermont **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By, General Amount.

(This star rating is based on the information available on MissingMoney.com, which differs from what is made available on the state’s unclaimed property site.)

How Claims Work: Vermont’s Office of the State Treasurer provides an online process to order a form via mail that requires name and address.

Virginia **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount.

How Claims Work: Virginia requires a registration process before filing a claim.

Washington **

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount ($10-25, $25-50, $50-100, over $100).

How Claims Work: Washington’s Department of Revenue requires a registration process before filing a claim.

West Virginia ****

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, City.

How Claims Work: The West Virginia State Treasurer requires registration to claim property online. Out of state claimants cannot E-Claim.

Wisconsin *

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, Property Type, Reported By (specific company/organization), General Amount (less than $10, more than $10, $10-$100, $100-$1,000, more than $1,000 on first screen. Exact amount on second screen).

How Claims Work: Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue provides an online process that requires the following information: relationship to the claimant, name, Social Security number, date of birth, Wisconsin driver’s license number, phone number, email and verified mailing address.

This state did not respond to a request for comment.

Wyoming ****

Data Visible Prior to Verification: Name, Street Address, More than $10 unclaimed for two years.

How Claims Work: Wyoming’s Unclaimed Property division requires claimants to call or write to initiate process.