Is Your Wallet Missing? Here are Few Things to do When Your Wallet is Stolen or Lost.
We’ve all been there. That absolute paralyzing panic when we discover our wallet is missing. We keep looking, not wanting to believe our own eyes. With a bit of luck, you’ve just forgotten it at home.
Worst case, it’s been stolen. It’s important you know what to do when your wallet is stolen. You need to act quickly, the thief sure will. You don’t want them using your credit card or your phone.
Let’s take a look at a few of the steps you need to take to make sure your finances and identity are kept safe.
What to do When Your Wallet is Stolen
When you discover that your wallet is missing, turning your panic into action is the best thing you can do. If someone is using your credit cards, you don’t want to be responsible for their purchases.
Cancel Credit Cards
Call the provider of all your credits cards as soon as you can. Hopefully, if there are unusual purchases being made, the company’s own security will notice. It takes very little time for a thief to rack up a few thousand dollars’ worth of goods.
They can even max out your car pretty quickly. Not only do you not want to be responsible for having to pay for these items, it can really mess up your credit rating.
Call Your Bank
Calling your bank to let them know your wallet is missing can stop a thief from getting your money. Let them know the last time you used it so they can monitor if it’s been used since.
If you had checks from your bank in your wallet, mention that so they can cancel them. A thief can get that cash out of your account in one fell swoop. The bank will cancel the card and issue you a new one
Report your Driver’s License
Your driver’s license is a vital piece of identification. You need to report it as missing so you don’t face a hefty fine for driving without it. Luckily, you don’t have to take a full day off to wait in line and the motor vehicle office.
Someone can get themselves into a lot of trouble and use your driving license as identification. You can get demerits on your license and have your insurance skyrocket without ever having done anything wrong.
You can download the forms you need online and send it in using certified mail labels. Why waste an entire day when you don’t have to. For information on certified mail labels, see more here.
File a Police Report
This might seem like a nuisance report but it’s important you call it in. The biggest reason is identity theft. It takes very little time for someone to take all your personal information and really make a mess of your life.
They can use your bank and credit cards, open up new accounts with your information and even use your health insurance for their own use. Identity theft means you can be refused service for bad checks or unpaid bills you have no idea about.
There’s even a small chance someone found your wallet and turned it in to the police. It’s always wise to report your missing wallet to the police.
Social Security Card
You need to report your social security card missing or stolen. They will put a freeze on the number until you want them to take it off. This will prevent the thief from opening new accounts, applying for loans under your name and messing up your life.
The number will not change, but they will issue you a new card. If you have been the victim of identity theft, you may be able to request a new social security number, as well.
If you had your entire bag taken or go missing, call your phone company to report it missing. They can cancel the number so you don’t get charged with a lot of calls or other services charges. They may be able to track any recent activity on the phone.
Try calling your phone to see what happens. If someone found it, they might even answer it. If nothing happens, it was likely stolen and the SIM card is already taken out.
Other Steps to Take When Your Wallet Goes Missing
Before you cancel your entire life, you should check to see if it’s just been misplaced. You don’t want the hassle of canceling everything just to find it under the couch.
Look High and Low
If you are at a store or somewhere you are trying to pay for items when you discover your wallet missing, take a moment. Look around you, look in the area of the store you had just been and check if it fell out where you were.
If you are in a restaurant, check the washrooms, and around and under your table and chair. Ask at the front or your server if anyone turned one in.
If you return home, make sure you check the house thoroughly. It may have fallen out and slid under a piece of furniture. If you have a frisky pet or toddler, make sure they get a hold of it and take it as a toy.
Retrace Your Steps
You should call home or work to make sure your wallet isn’t sitting there, where you simply forgot it. You can retrace your steps to see if you dropped it or it fell from your bag or pocket.
If you had recently been shopping, call the store to see if you dropped your wallet or left it at the cash register. Someone may have found it and turned it in. Not everyone is a thief.
Also, call your friends or family if you were recently visiting them to see if it fell out of your pocket or bag. It could have fallen out while you put on your shoes or pulled something else out of your bag.
Check the car out to see if your wallet fell under the seat and if you were on public transit or a cab, call the company to see if they found it or it was turned in.
Monitor Your Life
Check for unusual activity on credit cards, your bank accounts, and even your online presence. Thieves can set up social media accounts under your name, access your profiles and even get into the accounts of your friends, family, and followers.
If your friends mention that they got a Facebook friend request, make sure you report it right away. Same with twitter accounts and other online platforms. Identity theft spreads very quickly and can do a lot of damage.
Precautions You Can Take
If your bag was taken or you had your keys attached or in the wallet, you should consider changing the locks on your house and car. The thief will have all your information and know where you live.
You should let your work know about the missing wallet, in case there are any unusual activities with them, like demands on payroll or unlawful access to the office or store.
Wear a Chain
A wallet chain will keep your wallet safe and attached to your body. It’s the perfect way to prevent theft or losing it, plus you look cool.
You can use an elastic cord to attach your wallet to the strap or inside pocket of your bag, purse or briefcase. This is a great precaution to take.
Using a money belt is ideal when you are traveling or in a situation where you don’t have pockets or your bag. They are secure and no one will know you have it. You can access your money and identification in a secure space.
Leave Items at Home
Keep your birth certificate, your social security card and any non-essential credit cards at home. Keep them in a safe place. Only take them out if you need them for something.
Keep your pin numbers safe and away from your cards. The institutions who issue them tell people not to write their pin on the card and yet thousands of people still do it.
If you have trouble remembering it, keep the number somewhere else. Write in on your shoe if you need to, but always keep them separate from all your cards.
Lost and Found
Losing your wallet or having it stolen is a nightmare most of us have lived through. It’s hard to be preventive but at least be informed about what to do when your wallet is stolen.
It’s very important to take care of the financial cards and money side of things, to make sure you don’t get stuck paying for their purchases. It can make a mess of your credit rating and as the thieves use the cards and throw them away, it’s very hard to catch them.
Hopefully, if this happens to you, you will be prepared and take care of all the important aspects of keeping your finances safe. For more information and helpful tips on money matters, please continue reading here.