Is this a scam?

OK, I got a letter today from a company called “EQUISEARCH”. It is apparently searching for me, and has my old address listed, with an inquiry about “assets being held” in my name.

Now, before anyone goes off on the “something for nothing” bit. Keep in mind that this is very possible. I had several address changes through the 90’s and there were times when some companies I owned stock in were unable to locate me for a while. In other words, it is quite possible that I have assets out there that I lost track of. (I’ve never been good at the bookkeeping, epsecially when stocks split.)

I did a brief web search and didn’t sniff up anything that smacked of scam. It does seem that this company at least exists and they have a professional letterhead.

But does anyone know anything about this company? If there in some kind of quasi-legal murky territory or anything? (I have not heard of their parent comany, ChoicePoint, for example) I don’t plan on paying any “advance fees” or anything like that,s o no need for warnings there. But if anyone has ever heard of these kinds of services, I’d appreciate any help given.

Thanks in advance!

If you need to do the search, contact a stockbroker and they’ll track down what you’re owed. It’ll probably cost less than this place.

If it’s a matter of bank accounts, contact the Attorney General or Secretary of State for the state in which you held the account. They get turned over to the state if there’s no activity, but they’ll look it up for you for free and return you your money (although it will have stopped earning interest once it’s turned over to the state).

This poor fella didn’t get any advice out of usenet. He does mention a 35% finders fee, which seems like an outrageous gouge to me, even the company is legit.

Thier website says that they were established in 1988 and are in Westchester County, New York. Now if it’s possible that they were established in 1988 and if White Plains is in Westchester County, then here is the BBB report on them
As far is this report is concerned, they seem to be legit. But as far as I can tell, they are NOT members. This, I beleive, means that all the report shows is that the BBB has had run ins (One anyways, which was resolved) with them, but has not actually checked out the bussiness for themselves yet.

I’m gonna go with the advice I offered HeyHomie in this thread.

I may be wrong about this, but I think any genuine contact letter would say “assets being held in your name in connection with your investment in [company X]”

You are wise to resolve not to pay any advance fees, but be aware that scammers (if this is indeed a scam) can be very subtle and persuasive - do not crumble.

Well hey, Mr. M., I got something that may or may not help.

This rang a bell so I dug around (being a bachelor) in my old newspapers and found the article.

Dated July 20, 2003, so it was right on top relatively speaking, even.

“Ask Ratdog” is, I believe, the name of the article, and the name of ratdog apparently is Fay Faron. She appears to be a private eye of some sort who does this column on a regular basis, giving advice about all sorts of stuff.

This article in particular dealt with one “Rod from Clayton” who, like you, got a letter in the mail from someone wanting to give him money, with a finder’s fee. He was concerned that it might be a scam, and wrote in.

She responded that this is in fact NOT a scam, and suggests that Rod buy himself a new toy with the money. The circumstances are slightly different than your case, of course, but the idea’s the same.

There doesn’t seem to be a website associated with her, but the following information is given at the end of the article:

Ask Rat Dog
500 Pelican No. 209
New Orleans, LA 70114

The important thing seems to be that you don’t give the company any money until AFTER you collect. If they want you to pay for the information, the work they did to find it and you and bring the two of you together, that’s fine. AFTER you get your money.

Seems like you know that, tho. q;}

Enjoy your free lunch!


Thanks to all!

You might want to go to or and do a search there to find out if they have a record of your being owed money. You may be able to claim the money for free (missingmoney) or $20 (foundmoney) thereby saving yourself the 35% fee that the company in question is charging. Any way you look at it, however, it appears as if you’re going to wind up ahead as you’ll be getting money you didn’t know you had.