Ask LH: My Friend Has A Lot Of Unclaimed Money, Should I Tell Them?

Dear Lifehacker, I recently followed your advice for finding unclaimed money, but I took it a step further and started looking up names of family and friends too. This dug up a large amount of money under the name of one of my colleagues, which I'm sure he would love to know about. However, I am afraid to be labelled a 'sticky beak' if I let him know. Do you think it would be appropriate to let him know of his unclaimed fortune? Cheers, Sticky Beak

Secret picture from Shutterstock

Dear SB,

This will largely depend on the personality of the individual in question. Some people wouldn't think twice about your inquisitive nature and be extremely thankful for the info. Others, though, might view it as an invasion of their personal privacy. If you don't know your colleague that well, we'd let sleeping dogs lie — it's not like the money will be going anywhere in the short term.

Cheers Lifehacker


Comments

    Make a subtle suggestion - "Hey I just checked out that I have $200,000 in unclaimed Super! How much do you have?"

    Just leave an anonymous note on their desk...

      "I know you have $2,000 hidden in your underwear drawer. Signed - An Admirer"

    Some people wouldn’t think twice about your inquisitive nature and be extremely thankful for the info.
    Really?!

    I find it hard to imagine anyone finding it acceptable for a friend/acquaintance/colleague or even family member to go investigating into their financial affairs. That's simply intrusive.

    Certainly the only person I would be willing to have to do this would be a financial professional, i.e. someone I've authorised to look into such matters on my behalf.

    Fortunately, as previous commenters have pointed out, Sticky Beak has a convenient "out" in that s/he can simply draw the person's attention to the article and leave it to them to investigate.

      Really?!

      I find it hard to imagine anyone finding it acceptable for a friend/acquaintance/colleague or even family member to go investigating into their financial affairs. That's simply intrusive.

      Well that puts you in the second category.

        No, my next paragraph puts me in the second category. The par you quote reflects the fact that none of my acquaintances would be likely to take kindly to having someone nose about their financials and so I find it hard to imagine anyone finding it acceptable.

        Last edited 28/03/13 1:39 am

      Why? I wouldn't care. It's not like they're looking at your private credit card statements or payslips.

    It's public information if they were able to look it up.

      Have you followed the various links and tried this? Some of the recommended searches involve a bit more than typing a name into a search field. In some cases you would need to know/find out a little about the person you were searching for.

        Yes, I tried, hence my comment. The government site required minimal information so I presume that this information is public knowledge as there are no security checks. You are correct that some require more information beyond public knowledge - I over stated the 'public information'. Some of sites required very little details.

    Depends if the friend likes money more than perceived privacy. Evaluate these two against each other and make a judgement call.

    Really, this is a no-brainer. There's no need to reveal you did a search on someone else's financial affairs. (Yes, theoretically public but still involves some digging, so not your business.) Just tell the person that these options exist, that a search benefitted you personally, and leave them to take action.

    But in any case, I'm guessing that this post was a complete fabrication to get a bit more traffic to the original post. Sticky Beak's "dilemma" just doesn't seem very plausible.

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