SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – All last week 7NEWS showed you how to find missing money for free with the state, and boy did it paid off.

The South Carolina Treasurer’s Office told 7NEWS it received 2,600 claims last week during our coverage, valued at $2.6 million.  

As we brought you one story after another of people in the Upstate who found unclaimed property, our hope was to inspire you to search.

Take it from Carolina Caldwell in Greenville who found nearly $1,000.

“Why not, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Or Carl Sykes who found a whopping 100,000!

“It’s very easy to do.  I would encourage everybody to do it at least once a year if you don’t do it more often,” he said.

All the people we spoke with shared one thing in common, they didn’t believe they had any missing money, until they checked.

“I honestly doubted the whole thing, I thought, that can’t be possible. There’s no money sitting around for people.  But then a pleasant surprise, we found out there was,” said Pastor Steven Griffith with the Mountain View Baptist Church in Cowpens.

In fact, the South Carolina Treasurer’s office said there’s $750 million in the Unclaimed Property Fund right now.  

But this week that fund did drop by $2.6 million thanks to 2,600 viewers in the Upstate who saw our stories and found claims.

The agency said traffic to its Unclaimed Property website went up 64%.

The Treasurer’s Office said more than 150 people found claims above a thousand dollars, and at last one person watching in the Upstate found more than $25,000 dollars!

Right now, more than 1000 people should already have their checks in hand.

And for those who don’t, the office wants me to remind you to go ahead and send in that documentation to get your money.

How to Search:
To search your name or anyone you know in South Carolina for free, go to https://treasurer.sc.gov/              –  click unclaimed property in the upper right corner  

  • then click search for unclaimed property  
  • type in your last name and first and then press search 
  • if you see an address you’ve had, click claim and follow the process.  

And remember, you can search for anyone, not just yourself.

So where does the money come from? Everything from dormant bank accounts and uncashed checks to forgotten utility deposits and unclaimed insurance policies.

“We’ve been very active in going around the country and either litigating or auditing, whatever it takes, to bring money home.  We brought back 75 million dollars from one life insurance company.  They were old policies and they kind of held onto them because they thought, well they’re not going to give that money back. Well, we have a lot of tools here, and we’ve returned half of it already,” said Treasurer Curtis Loftis.  

So let these fine folks be your inspiration and while you’re at it, search for your friends and spread the wealth.  

And if you haven’t looked yet, remember, you never have to pay to search or claim your money.  You can find the free sites for any state’s unclaimed property program here.