ASIC Cashback

Reporter: Helen Wellings

Come and .. get it. There's a massive pot of money in held government coffers building up .. and up every year ... because it's not claimed ... a fortune that could be in your pocket.

Steven Bilawczuk, an operations manager, snared HIS honeypot - long-forgotten shares. Lesley Dankbaar, now retired, claimed a windfall she hadn't even realised was her's.

"The cash component was a touch over $20,000 so it's not a sum to be sniffed at." Said Lesley Dankbaar

Almost 5 million Australians, that's 1 in 3 adults, have money sitting waiting to be collected - 20 billion dollars .. unclaimed))

"You could find something in there that's going to help you at Christmas time or in the year ahead." Said Peter Kell

Peter Kell Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is putting out a call to the nation - COLLECT your dosh now because those unclaimed billions are increasing by ... $40 million a year.

"Last year we returned 56 million dollars to consumers out there, we'd like to return at least that much, if not alot more, this year. This is a free service, we don't charge anything." Said Peter kell

We'll show you soon how easy the ASIC website makes it to grab back.

YOUR missing funds .. from an old bank or credit union account unused for years, money from life insurance policies unclaimed after the policy matures, shares you've not collected from companies demutualising or liquidating, self-managed trusts where the trustee company has been deregistered, old super funds ..and lottery wins.

"We've got 34 million superannuation accounts in Australia for roughly 9 million workers. People are very very busy today they just don't have the time to track this down." Said Russell Medcraft

Russell Medcraft, CEO of Financial Choice also runs Find My Super, which helps people locate lost money, and like ASIC, there's no finder's fee.

Lesley recovered $20,000 in lost Transurban shares. There are lots out there. In fact, apart from unclaimed dividends, $5 BILLION dollars worth of shares are uncollected.

"That could amount to $500 to $5000 or more. In fact we have had some clients who have had over half a million dollars of lost money, that we have subsequently renewed their tie with their fund manager or their share registry." Said Russell

Some of the biggest unclaimed amounts .. $992,750 from a dormant bank account in Carlisle, WA, $195,268 from a deregistered company in Gilston, QLD, $286,165 from a matured life insurance policy in Camberwell, VIC

"It's not earning interest so it might as well get back into the community." Said Peter Kell

NSW - North Bondi Surf Life Saving .. you've nearly $5,000 in company shares. In dormant banks accounts in Victoria - Yarraville Sports Club has over $3,500, Melbourne Saxophone Quartet $4,500, The Healthy Kids Western Committee has over $50,000. Queensland - Brisbane Blue Bonnet's Pipe Band has $5,066 in a bank account.

"We're talking about things like rental bonds

the real estate agent or whoever may not know where you've moved to so they have transferred that money to the government Lotto ." Said Russell Medcraft

Lotteries across Australia .. dozens of people haven't picked up

from $100,000 to $2.5 million in winnings. But it's not too late... The best start for lost shares, insurance, bank accounts .. ASIC's website.

"Go to website. Click on the link to unclaimed money and it will give you instructions first and foremost about how to find any unclaimed money that might be yours and if you do manage to find some it will tell you how to get it back. Of course you'll need some proof that the money is yours." Said Peter Kell

"Solicitors, private investigators, people claiming that they do this." Said Steven Bilawczuk

"I received a random letter from a solicitor in Melbourne which said something to the effect of you may be entitled to $20,000 and I can secure that for you if you'd like to pay me 10 per cent." Said Lesley

Be warned. Like Steven and Lesley, you've no doubt been approached by companies claiming to have found your money but charging a whopping fee to collect it for you.

"I would encourage people to do it themselves and then just appoint somebody if the paper work is too hard

You're mad if you don't! Seriously, you owe it to yourself to do a bit of hard work, get on the internet, do the searching, and you'll come out the better for it." Said Russell



* ASIC is helping re-unite Australians and their lost money through their online database, which has risen to a record high of $677 million, an increase of more than $40 million from 2011.

You and over a million (1,008,253 records) others could be sitting on windfall and not event know! All you need to do is go to ASIC's MoneySmart website to find out

Click on the link to unclaimed money and type in your name. You can even search for family and friends!