Windfall could be yours

MONEY a bit short?

You could be one of 10,541 recorded entries which share in $4,127,085 in unclaimed money in the Mid North Coast area.

For a change, this is not a scam.

This money is administered by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and is part of a $636 million Australia-wide pool.

ASIC says people may have unclaimed money if they: haven't made a transaction on their cheque or savings account for seven years; stopped making payments on a life insurance policy; moved without leaving a forwarding address; have noticed regular dividend or interest cheques have stopped coming, or were executor of a deceased estate.

Some of the amounts are substantial. If you lost a relative in Matraville, NSW, you maybe the beneficiary of $642,000 from a dormant bank account.

ASIC spokesperson Delia Rickard said there was more money in the unclaimed pool than ever.

"If you've already searched you should look again," she said.

"It's quick and easy.

"You can search for yourself and for family and friends.

"The average parcel of money is $652 and there are some huge amounts of money waiting to be claimed.

"Last year Australians recovered $62 million."

To see if you are owed money, log into http://www.moneysmart.gov.au/ and follow the link to unclaimed money and type in your name.

If you find money you think might be yours, you'll need to prove the money belongs to you or that you are the beneficiary.

Ms Rickard said people might get a letter from a company offering to help them claim lost money.

"These companies will charge you a fee," she said.

She said people should try searching themselves or call 1300 300 630 before using one of the companies.



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