The Only Time I Will Ever Have Anything Good To Say About Junk Mail

Filed under Noted

I’m on every opt-out list in the solar system against junk mail, so it’s a very rare occasion that an old fashioned piece of letter spam makes it into my mailbox.

One of these rare occasions was two months ago, when I received a letter from US Claims, one of those fly-by-night companies that tell you for a 10% commission–they can recover missing cash for you. Then only thing that kept that letter from going directly into the recycling bin was that it mentioned a problematic, decade old stock transaction that I’d never resolved. But, since everything from the tacky logo to the return envelope just smelled like “scam,” the letter got stuffed into my over-flowing “to be filed” outbox, aka the Wall of Shame, until today, when I was feeling slightly Sherlockian.

Ten years ago, when I left my last corporate job, my exit package got bungled and I knew, but couldn’t prove, that I was shorted one solitary stock share. Although out of principle, I attempted to recover my missing share, I was never able to establish a paper trail.

On closer inspection, the suspicious letter yielded several valuable clues. Even before she screwed up my exit package, I knew that the HR Lady at my last corporate job was a total moron, but this letter reminded me of just how bad she was at her job. For starters, she had clearly made two serious typos in the stock document–the first was screwing up the spelling of my first name, the second was being twelve letters off when she wrote down my middle initial. Also, even though I worked for that company for five years, she’d never bothered to change my home address, although she knew I’d not only moved, twice, but bought a house.

It’s no wonder, the State Controller couldn’t find me.

But somehow US CLAIMS found me, paperwork errors and all, a decade later. And I suspected that “somehow” was the internet. So, I put on my detective shoes and did a quick internet search back on “US CLAIMS scam” (thank you Mr. Mark Teipe) and discovered that there is a special division of the State Controller’s office that helps find missing money FOR FREE.

If you live outside of California, has links to all the state databases.

According to John Chiang, Mr. California State Controller, I am owed $1525.00.

And I never thought I’d get anything from junk mail other than fire starter.


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