Having trouble deciding if some money is yours? Money expert Ryan Neeswahl is here to help in our regular column.
Dear Ryan: I have just started work at a major insurance company. At the end of my first two-week stint, I was handed a check for several thousand dollars. The check looked official, and had the company’s logo. Is this really my money? I’m worried.
Ryan says… Relax, Barbara. This sum is called a salary, and it is paid by some companies to their employees in exchange for work. It is definitely Your Money.
Dear Ryan: Last week, I went into a bank, pointed a gun at the teller, and told her I would shoot unless I received $50,000 in cash. But actually it was a trick. It would have been impossible for me to shoot anyone, because the gun wasn’t even loaded. The way I see it, the bank made an error in giving me the money, and I should be allowed to keep it. Am I right?
Curtis, Thornbeam Acres
Ryan says… This kind of sloppy service is all too typical from bank tellers these days. The teller should have demanded proof that your weapon was loaded, and her failure to do so means that you have a good claim on the cash. But I’m afraid you will not be legally allowed to keep the money unless you have the bank’s permission. Just go back to the bank and talk to the manager about your funny joke and your bad experience with the teller. If you’re lucky, he should let you keep the money as compensation. Be sure to have him sign an E442 Righteous Theft form before you leave. At that point, it will be Your Money..
Dear Ryan: I have so much money that my wallet is bursting with it. It was given to me as a birthday present by an uncle who has since died. The notes are black, with five rounded extensions. My cousins say that because my uncle was their father, and they are closer relations, that the money does not belong to me. Is it My Money?
Ryan says… Your cousins are wrong. It is yours, but it sounds to me as if it’s not technically money. I think what you have there is a pair of leather gloves. So, no, I’m afraid it is not Your Money.
Dear Ryan: Yesterday, while looking through my purse, I discovered a $10 bill. I don’t remember putting it there. Is it my money, or should I turn it into the police.
Ryan says… Of course, it’s possible that you placed the money there at some point in the past and forgot, but is this likely? The money may have been dropped by a small child and been carried by the wind into your purse. It might have been placed there by the previous owner of the purse for times of desperate need. Or it might also have been placed by antipickpockets as part of a complex money laundering scheme. I know what I would do, but you must follow your conscience on this one.
Do you have questions about whether a sum of is yours? Send your question to Ryan, along with the money if you wish, and he will answer them. All submissions remain the property of Your Money.