Archived Story

Losing your wallet can be a traumatic experience

Published 12:39pm Friday, March 23, 2012

This week my friend, Elizabeth lost her wallet. It is unclear as to the exact way it disappeared at the gas station, but it wasn’t anywhere to be found. After listening to her tell of all the things she did to stop loss of money and identity theft, I realized that there are things we should all know, just in case this were to happen to us.
Losing your wallet or purse is a devastating experience. You have no identification or funds available to you immediately. And if it is your purse or backpack you may have lost more that your identification and credit cards.
Here are a few things you should do if you find that your wallet has been stolen or lost.
First, contact the police and file a report. This step is important should you have problems with identity theft and liability problems. Even if you think you may have lost it, always assume it was stolen, because someone may try to use your cards or identification.
Next, contact all of your financial institutions and report the loss of your credit cards, ATM card, debit card, and any checks that might have been in the wallet. Don’t wait to do this as some companies have a time limit for reporting, before you are responsible. Cancel those cards and ask that they reissue you a new number and don’t forget to ask them to transfer any points you have earned. Remember your store credit cards, too.
Once you have done these things go get a new license, you are going to need it. Let the state know that you have lost your license. If you get stopped before you get the new license you may have to appear in court to explain the circumstances. Just another reason to file a police report.
Finally, contact the credit reporting agencies. They have the ability to place a fraud alert in your file. You should continue to monitor your credit report during the year.
If your purse was stolen and your keys were in it you need to have the locks changed on the doors of your home. If the thief has your purse and keys he has your address as well. It makes it easy for him to come in since he doesn’t need to break a window or pry open the door. Think about it, you might or might not be at home when he decides to try that key.
If you don’t have your account and contact information for all of your cards and accounts written down all in one place, go open your wallet and do it now and store in a safe place. Remember, you won’t be able to look at the phone numbers on the back of the cards if it is lost or stolen.

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