Have your ever lost your wallet or had your purse stolen? So frustrating! This happened to me a number of years ago. It was about two weeks before Christmas. Normally I do not carry much cash but with it being the holidays I had almost $100 PLUS several gift cards that I had just purchased as gifts earlier that afternoon. I was unloading a full cart of purchases at the local Sam’s Club and foolishly left my purse in the cart as I unloaded. I had my keys in my pocket and didn’t even realize that my purse was gone until I got home! Lovely way to spend the holidays…. So. What should you do if you have a lost or stolen wallet? Here are some things that you should do immediately:
1. Call your credit card companies and your bank or credit union.
You need to make these phone calls as soon as you are sure that your wallet has been lost or stolen. This will allow you to get replacement cards quickly as well as reduce your liability if someone has already tried to use the card. It would be a good idea to check with your bank or credit union to see their rules about liability regarding debit cards. Be sure to cancel your ATM/Debit cards, Credit Cards AND any store credit cards that were in your wallet. One more thing. Be sure to let them know if you have also lost any blank checks just in case someone tries to use one. Or three.
2. Write down a list of everything that was in your purse or wallet.
While it is fresh on your mind, maybe while you are on hold as you make all these phone calls, jot down everything that was in your wallet. Not just credit cards and such but also important identification cards, voter registration cards, cash and the like. NEVER carry your social security card in your purse or wallet. The possibility of having a lost or stolen wallet is a great reason to make sure that you do not keep any of your passwords, account numbers, combinations, etc. in your wallet.
3. File a Police Report.
Call the local police and let them know that you need to file a stolen purse or wallet report. They will walk you through exactly what you need to do. This is a critical step. In case of identity theft you must have filed a police report in order to limit your liability if someone decides to have a shopping spree as you.
4. Call the three credit reporting agencies.
Each of the agencies can ‘tag’ your credit report with a fraud alert. This will help prevent additional acts of identity theft and let them know what has happened. Here is their contact info:
Experian – 1.888.397.3742
Equifax – 1.888.766.0008
Trans Union – 1.800.680.7289
5. Call your state’s DMV to report your license lost or stolen.
Once you report the ID lost or stolen you can make an appointment in order to get a replacement. Many states have these services online and you might be able to have a replacement mailed to you. Check with your local office in order to find out exactly what you will have to do.
6. Call a locksmith if your keys are with your wallet or purse.
So. If they have your ID they have your address. And if they have your keys? Well. You need to get all of your locks changed. It’s a bummer but it needs to be done.
7. Call your best friend and/or eat some ice cream.
Self explanatory. And after all you have just been through – you deserve it!
8. BONUS TIP
Don’t leave your purse in the cart when you are loading your car in the parking lot of any store… Ahem.
You might want to go ahead and take some time today to make copies of or write down all of the information about every credit/debit card in your wallet. Make a quick list of all of the cards – with the phone numbers to call – and keep the list somewhere easy to find if you do end up with a lost or stolen wallet or purse. When you are able to get home, you will have all of the information in one place to make all of those phone calls. Much easier! I am just going to make a copy of the front and back of every card in my wallet. I guess that you could even take a picture of everything and store it on your computer.
And just in case you are the type that constantly misplaces your wallet – there is a new invention just for you! I think it’s ingenious!
The description from the Wallet TrackR site says, “How does Wallet TrackR work? When your wallet gets separated from your iPhone or iPad, the Wallet TrackR app gently notifies you that you may be leaving your wallet behind. The app also takes a GPS snapshot of where your wallet was at the moment of separation in case you didn’t hear the alert. Tap a button within the app to make your wallet “ring” in case you are looking for it around the house or in the dark.” You could easily place this in a purse or other belongings to track where they are. It’s very reasonably priced and the app is free with purchase. The price for one starts at just $29.00.
If anyone orders one of these let me know – love to hear what you think of it!