Q: I just received a letter from a company saying the state was holding money that belonged to me. For a fee, this company would collect that money and send it to me. Is this on the up and up, or is it a scam?
A: The letter you received is probably an honest offer. There are companies whose sole purpose is to search public records and do the work required to collect money due someone for a fee. Sometimes it is a flat fee; sometimes it is a percentage.
However, you can easily search the records and claim the money without the use of private services that want fees.
When someone forgets or never knew about an account or refund, and the company holding that money cannot reach the person, the money is turned over to the government of the last state in which the account owner lived. There it is held as unclaimed property. Most accounts become unclaimed when there is no owner contact with the financial institution or account activity for three years.
In California that property is held by the state controller’s Unclaimed Property Program. You may search http://www.claimit.ca.gov or call 800-992-4647 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
You may also write to the state controller’s Unclaimed Property Program, P.O. Box 942850, Sacramento, CA 94250-5873.
To discover whether you have unclaimed property, visit http://www.missingmoney.com or http://www.unclaimed.org. Search every state in which you have lived, and check maiden names and those of deceased family members.
Q: I have just heard from a neighbor about a seminar she attended last month at the Westlake Village Civic Center. She said a series addressed topics of interest to seniors. Can you shed any light?
A: Senior Concerns and the city of Westlake Village are presenting Senior Issues, a series of seminars from 1:30-3 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month.
The next presentation will be June 10. The subject will be “Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test?” For more information call the advocate’s office at 495-6250.
Wednesday: Wellness Expo 2014. 8 a.m. to noon; Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi, Simi Valley. Free screenings for carotid artery, glucose, BMI, bone density, blood pressure and balance testing.
May 28: Goebel Center Games and Goals. 10 a.m. to noon; t Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. Free health and fitness activities will include horseshoes, Wii bowling, miniature golf, table tennis, billiards, a 1K walk and a barbecue lunch. Register at the center’s front desk. For information call 381-2744.
June 5: City of Thousand Oaks Senior of the Year Awards Dinner. 5:30 p.m.; Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. Dinner is $6 and will be catered by Stone Fire Grill. Tickets are available at the center. For information call 381-7362.
June 8: Senior Concerns Love Run. 10K, 5K and 1-mile run/walk. For information contact 497-0189 or email@example.com.
The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging is looking for volunteers for its Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program. After a training period, volunteers will answer seniors’ questions about Medicare, MediCal and Covered California. For information call Catherine at 477-7384.
The Goebel Adult Community Center Commission is looking for vendors for an antiques bazaar Aug. 10. Those interested in buying a booth may contact Mary at 493-1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.