If You Find Money, Is It Legal to Keep It?

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Depending on where you find money, you may have to explore different options. In most jurisdictions you are required to take reasonable steps to locate the owner of the money. Although the law may vary in many places, by making a good faith effort to find the owner, you may be entitled to keep the money. You should start by making an effort to locate the owner through any identifying characteristics associated with the money or by asking people in the general vicinity.

Effort Required

If you are unable to locate the owner of the money on your own, check the laws in your jurisdiction regarding found money. Many jurisdictions require that you report the money to the police. If no one claims the money within a certain time period, you may be entitled to keep it. Depending on the laws where you live, you could be charged with theft or larceny if you fail to report the money.