It sounds too good to be true, but for thousands of Australians there really are bucket loads of cash just waiting for someone to claim them.
Maurice Pratt is a modern day Santa Claus. The creator of the Find Unclaimed Money site's goal is to reunite you with your lost cash.
“Quite often it's as a result of people having moved, and so when a company has sent a cheque to that address, and they’re not there anymore, the cheque does not get cashed. So after a period of time that money is rolled into ‘unclaimed money’,” he said.
Once it is there, you can source it through numerous government-run databases.
Maurice's bright idea was to roll all the databases into a one-stop-shop.More stories from Today Tonight
“You go to the website and you can do a free search. Just type your name in, and if it shows some results, and you think ‘yeah it looks like it could be me’, then you become a member, and then you'll be able to see all the info you need.”It'll cost you $25 dollars to become a member.
Unbelievably, your money is not yours forever. If you don't claim it, governments can effectively rob you of some entitlements, and roll it into consolidated revenue.
Unclaimed money agent Collection Point scours databases to look for people owed money. They then write letters, which seemingly scare people into foregoing up to 15 per cent off their entitlement, in return for the agency working to get their money.
Smart Investor's editor Nicole Pedersen McKinnon applauds Find Unclaimed Money for amalgamating up to eight different databases, but says the great bulk of people's lost money can be found with two simple searches - with ASIC and the Tax Office.Contact details