In our today’s edition of life hacks, I would like us to take a deep look into what to do when you lose your wallet to reduce or prevent fraud.
Lose of wallet can be the most frustrating and embarrassing thing that can happen to anyone regardless of your level of carefulness, it can be misplaced or stolen. Losing your wallet can mean having your identity stolen or even your bank account wiped. What thieves do with stolen wallets can be unimaginable, that’s why losing your wallet can make you panic a lot.
Since most physical wallets have a lot of compartments, your lost wallet might really be holding a lot of your personal identities such as; your social security number, debit and credit cards, driver’s license inclusive, and you don’t have a wallet tracker that arguably find a stolen wallet.
However, if it happens that you lose your wallet, this post is tailored to help give you ideas on the best practices to reduce or avoid fraudulent activities using the information housed in your stolen or missing wallet.
What to do when you lose your wallet or purse
Ever lost your wallet before and got stressed out trying to figure out how to get money when you lose your wallet probably because your debit and credit cards were in it, or what measures to take to avoid identity theft and financial loss? Don’t worry, here’s the step-by-step guide on things to do.
1. Try to find your lost wallet
This is perhaps the first thing to do when you lose your wallet. Before you continue with any of the steps listed below, here’s how to find your lost wallet;
Hold your breath and try to calm your nerves down. Don’t get so nervous like the first time I lost my wallet in the UK while on transit.
To find your missing wallet, you may want to check your pockets, bags, lockers, desks and car thoroughly and if possible, contact public places you visited to know if the missing wallet is found.
These afforementioned, are reliable means to increase the chances of finding a lost wallet. If you are unable to recover your wallet using these methods, I would like to let you know that’s not the end of the world. Continue with the steps below, to protect yourself and prevent fraud using your identies…
2. Make a list of what was in your wallet
If unfortunately, you couldn’t find your wallet in the previous step, then try to figure out what items were in your lost wallet. Common items people carry in their wallets including but not limited to the following; Driver’s license, ID cards, Membership cards Credit and debit cards.
It is pertinent to have a list of what was in your stolen or lose wallet in order to have clear understanding of what next to do (which company to call). Even if you found your lost wallet, this list will enable you to easily figure out if there’s something missing and if there is the need for alarm.
3. Call the issuer of your debit card and report it as stolen
If your debit card was in the stolen or lost wallet, this is one of the crucial steps you should take. Without further delay, call your bank or financial institution that issued the debit card to you and inform them that your debit card has been stolen. They will cancel your debit card and provide a replacement with new account details.
Do not hesitate to report your stolen debit card on time, as early report will make you responsible for about $50 worth of illegal purchases made on your card. If you delay for more than two days but lesser than 60 days then you will be responsible for all the illegal purchases made on your card.
4. Call your credit card issuer
If your credit cards are missing along with your wallet, call your credit card issuers immediately. Because you have reported your credit card as stolen, your issuer will stop those credit card numbers and provide new ones. Most banks are likely to credit back fraudulent charges to your credit cards allowing you to pay a maximum of $50 only, for illegal buys if you report on time.
5. Report lost wallet to the police
I know you might be of the opinion that the police cannot help you recover a stolen wallet and there’s no need filling a police report form. You may be right, but the lost wallet police report is very important in case you become a victim of identity theft.
While filing your stolen wallet police report form, you could be asked to provide where and when you lost it, a description of your wallet or purse, what was inside your wallet and other details regarding the circumstances. A Police report number will be given to you upon completion, make sure you keep it safe as most financial institutions will ask you for it for verification purposes during their investigation.
6. Replace your Driver’s License
If your ID or driver’s license was in the lost or stolen wallet, try to replace it as soon as possible because thieves can take your Driver’s license or ID numbers and use them in creating fraudulent accounts. To replace your Driver’s license or ID, your police report number might be requested.
7. Change your locks
If your office or house keys were in the stolen wallet or purse, change the locks to reduce the risk of robbery as thieves can take note of your address from your driving license and make a clone of your locks and still return it to a nearby police office so you would feel reluctant. If you don’t change your locks, just know that you have your keys just as some other bad guys have it too and would easily burgle your house with it.
FAQs related to what to do when you lose your wallet
I understand you might want to know what happens when someone steals your wallet in order to know how seriously you should take it and be able to protect yourself from damages.
There are a variety of things thieves do with stolen wallets with the common ones been; to use your credit and debit cards for illegal purchases online, cloning of your locks and tracing your house from the address on your driver’s license. Your IDs are the most common means of identity theft.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as many as 9 million Americans have had their identities stolen each year. This can easily be done when a lost wallet gets into the bad hands.
If you are lucky to recover your lost wallet, what next to do, depends on when and where you found the wallet. If the missing wallet is found inside your bag, it could be a misplacement you may not want to carry out further actions.
If it is found in a public place, days after, or was taken to the police station by someone who picked it up, here’s what to do;
Crosscheck what’s on your list and what’s inside the wallet or purse, if they are complete, follow the steps recommended on this post to further protect yourself as the information contained on your wallet might already have been copied.
Feel free to share your experiences with us and let us know if our compilation of the best tips on what to do when you lose your purse or wallet is helpful to you.