The Illinois Unclaimed Property scam

By: Diane Benjamin

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs needs new authority to fine any business that sends your money to the State instead of refunding it directly to you.

Years ago we subscribed to the Sunday only Pantagraph. After only getting delivery occasionally I cancelled delivery and requested a refund. I remember being told it would “take awhile” to process.

The Pantagraph didn’t send a check to us, they sent it to the Treasurer’s office as Unclaimed Property. Our address as been the same since 1997, the claim form from the Treasurer’s office has our address correct. The Pantagraph did not even attempt to refund the money to us.

The refund is $6.62. To get it I have to fill out the form and submit documents to the Treasurer’s office including Social Security Number.

I search my Dad’s name, he has TWO “less than $100” in the same situation. Neither party even attempted to return the credit balance to the address listed on the account. It’s much easier to send it to Frerichs and make people jump through hoops to get their money back.

Illinois creates lots of stupid laws, but here’s one they should pass: Require proof a business attempted to return the money to the rightful owner before turning it over to the State. Heavily fine any business that turns over money when a claim proves the address has not changed.

How many extra staff has Frerichs hired to handle claims that should have never been claims?

I would post the proof for the Pantagraph, but it has my husband’s name on the form. Ken Griffin would probably add his name to Richard Irvin’s mailing list and we’d get double the junk. Did you know Griffin has paid $50,000,000 to buy a governor?

I suggest you check the Unclaimed Property site, some business may have scammed you too:

12 thoughts on “The Illinois Unclaimed Property scam

  1. I just checked my name in the database and have less than $100 to be returned from Gailey Eye Clinic. I have gone there over 20 yrs and have had the same address just as long. How it ever got sent to the state is beyond me. And of course I had to put my SSN on the form to get it returned.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. scam is right. illinois the land of scam(artists). i believe part of this “law” even store credit in IL is good for 1yr then businesses have to turn the un-used balances in. businesses and people need to fight back! file a BBB complaint against the pantagraph or whom-ever. personally i believe the pantygraph did this on purpose. they knew who you were, they knew it would be a pain in the @ss to get your money back. i totally would leave a BBB review and file a complaint. thats just bad business practice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So let’s me get this straight. Sometime ago you canceled your subscription to the Pantagraph. You didn’t receive the refund of $6.62 instead of calling the Pantagraph and asking where your refund is, you wait. You then go on the state of Illinois Treasury web site, and see the refund on the web site, all $6.62 of your money. You then proceed to state how hard it is to claim a refund.

    I went on the site, found out I had a refund I didn’t know about. It took exactly two minutes to claim the money with the online form. It was incredibly easy and hassle free to claim the money. How exactly is a refund of $6.62 from the Pantagraph which you didn’t follow up on the state of Illinois fault? It isn’t. If you want $6.62 refund spend 2 minutes to claim it, don’t blame the state of Illinois.


      1. No, I haven’t gotten any other e-mails. And I’m not a liar. Calling people liars is equally unattractive. You’re trying to blame the state of Illinois for your lack of follow through with the Pantagraph. All this over $6.62 for Pete’s sake. I’ve done this before and it’s done online now.


    1. Reading comprehension is a lost art. The main point is WHY does the state have this money? It’s obvious they know the owner because it’s listed under their name for Pete’s sake!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. No I don’t think Illinois is going to send me a check. For $6.62 it wouldn’t be worth it. I was able to send the state my documents online. So no, I wasn’t lying. Every single state in the United States has laws governing unclaimed monies and property. The State of Illinois ALSO has law governing unclaimed property. And sometimes they are holding a great deal of money from bank safety deposit boxes, jewelry, Financial documents and large amounts of cash. Perhaps you should look up facts before claiming someone is lying and claiming the state of Illinois is running a scam.


  5. The Treasurer’s office has two unclaimed amounts for two deceased family members. One is around $7 and the other is $16. To claim this money, they are asking for a copy of the death certificate, a copy of the Will that has been notarized by the county clerk or completing a small estate affidavit, plus provide proof of family relationship. Then the completed claim form has to be notarized. This money will be split amongst 6 survivors, so that isn’t even $4 per person. That’s not worth the hassle. There should be an easier way to claim amounts $20 or less.


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