Better Call Behnken helps reunite Tampa Bay area residents with $2.3 million in unclaimed money

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Who doesn’t want to find out the state owes you money?

When Scarlett Ferstl saw our Better Call Behnken Unclaimed Cash Phone Bank, she got excited.

“Nothing in my name, nothing in my husband’s (name),” Ferstl said. “We’re just really good at staying on top of what we have, I guess.”

But she kept looking, and it paid off. She checked the names of friends and family and was pleasantly surprised.

“One of them was $50 bucks, another was a couple hundred bucks,” she said. “We’re still waiting to find out what the brother-in-law finds out. It was fun, like a treasure hunt.”

And she’s not alone.

Thousands of viewers called 8 On Your Side’s Better Call Behnken phone bank or went to the state’s website ( to check their names. This is 8 On Your Side’s second Unclaimed Cash Phone Bank. Combined, viewers have reunited with more than $2.3 million, and the number continues to climb, as more viewers check their names on the state website and submit their claims. So far, more than 3,976 accounts have been claimed.



Officials with the office of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater teamed up with 8 On Your Side to help viewers reconnect with more than $383 million in unclaimed money in Tampa Bay. It’s mostly money from old accounts, insurance policies or an inheritance. State workers answered phone calls at News Channel 8 for 6 ½ hours, and thousands of viewers took advantage of the help.

“We had a $20,000 claim out of Polk County,” said Joel Brown, press secretary for CFO Jeff Atwater. “We had $19,000 up in the Temple Terrace area, and we had someone just shy of $7,000 in the Wesley Chapel area and several couple thousand dollar claims all sprinkled through,”

And it’s not too late for you. There are still millions of dollars are available.

“Visit our website,,” Brown said. “Check often, check for friends, check for family. We upload thousands of accounts every day, so keep checking in.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s