This is a sponsored guest post.
Just about everyone has had an experience where they suddenly realize their wallet is missing. Perhaps it was only misplaced, however, in some instances, it’s been stolen. If you’re the victim of a wallet theft, here are some important steps that you need to take immediately to ensure that your good creditworthy name remains intact.
Try to think back to where you last used your wallet. Is it possible that you’ve only misplaced your wallet? Perhaps you left it lying on the counter in a store or you dropped it. If you remember where you last had your wallet, call the place of business immediately and inquire about your wallet.
Sometimes, the place of business will have security cameras and the police can go over that footage and actually catch the thief on camera in the act.
As soon as you realize your wallet is missing you need to immediately file a report with the police department. Even if you don’t think it’s that important, it is. Give the police the following information: Where you last had your wallet, the kinds of credit cards that you had in it, the amount of cash in your wallet, and a full description of the wallet itself.
If you remember where you last used your wallet you should also contact that place of business, it’s possible that it was returned or as mentioned above, that the thief was caught on camera.
If you had credit cards or a debit card in your wallet, you need to contact each of these companies and let them know to freeze your account. Request new credit and/or debit cards with new numbers. The bank or credit card company will freeze the old cards in the system so that no one can use them.
If you are one of the many who keeps your driver’s license in your wallet, you’re going to need to contact the department of motor vehicles or DMV. They will tell you what steps you need to take to get your driver’s license replaced.
It’s important to do this in person so that you can fill out all of the required paperwork and get your new licenses immediately. You may require some form of identification such as your birth certificate to get your new license. You’ll have to pay for your replacement license but at least you’ll have a form of picture identification.
Social Security Card
It’s highly recommended that you memorize this number and not keep it in your wallet unless you require it for a job interview, after which time you should put it back in a safe location. However, if it was in your wallet, you’ll want to make sure to notify your bank, credit card accounts etc. and you’ll also want to note your credit accounts that your social security number may have been stolen.
You’ll also want to order a replacement social security card. This will require some specific information so be sure that you inquire as to what exactly they’re going to need and get that information to them as soon as possible. Again, it’s wise to go into the social security office in person so that you can take care of this immediately. The Social Security Administration doesn’t issue new numbers, all they will do is replace the card.
You may also wish to contact the IRS to report that your social security number has been compromised. That way, if an illegal alien were to attempt to use your social security number to get a job, they can’t. You may also wish to contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center to report the loss of your social security card.
Call the credit bureau immediately and place a fraud alert on your social security number. If someone attempts to open an account in your name this information will be on your credit report and may help to prevent identity theft. You should make this call in addition to reporting to each of your credit card companies that you’ve lost your wallet or had it stolen.
Watch your credit report carefully for at least six months after the loss of a wallet to ensure that your good creditworthy name remains intact. If someone does attempt to use your social security number the fraud alert will require that they know specific information and prevent further damage to your good name.
If your keys were in your wallet, you’ll want to replace all of your locks. This includes your car, home, and place of business if those keys were included.
You should call a locksmith immediately for this to be done as it can prevent further theft and will give you more peace of mind regarding your personal safety.
Other Wallet Contents
By now, you’re tired and weary of all these phone calls, but you’re not done yet. You need to take a few minutes to sit down and write out everything that you recall was in your wallet.
Here are a few things to consider that may have been in your wallet:
Work ID Badges
Building Security Codes (work or home)
Pictures (family and friends)
Passwords (if there were passwords, make sure to change all of them immediately)
Medical Insurance Cards (call and get these replaced immediately as well)
Membership Cards (credit unions, gyms, movie theaters, and other membership cards such as store savings cards)
Of course, no one ever plans to lose their wallet, however, it’s wise to plan ahead. Make a photocopy of all of your important documents that are in your wallet and store these at home in a secure location. That way, if your wallet is stolen you will have the full details of each and every card at your fingertips (make sure to copy both front and back of all documents).
If you’re planning a huge shopping trip, only take what you need in your wallet. If you’re carrying large sums of cash, divide it up in your pockets, wallet and elsewhere for safety. These tips will help you to replace the contents of your wallet and make the right phone calls should you lose your wallet.