Somewhere between that party last night and work this morning, you discovered that your wallet was stolen. Your credit and debit cards, driver’s license, social security card, various club cards and your car insurance papers were in there…What do you do now? While the first thing to come to mind might be to try to head back to where you think you lost it, you might be better off immediately putting into action a plan to stop identity theft and the spending of your cash by a thief who may have taken your wallet. Here are some tips you can use if and when your wallet ever goes missing:
1. File a police report right away. Fill out a sheet telling them what your wallet contained, and be sure to take a copy of it home with you in case any of your creditors need a copy.
2. File a Fraud Alert or Credit Freeze on your credit file to all three credit bureaus. This will let creditors know that something may have happened to your identity, and they should take extra steps to verify anything that gets opened or applied for in your name. Here are the numbers of each agency:
Call 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)
3. Contact your local bank and ask if you should close your account and open a new one. You can request new checking and savings account numbers, ATM cards, checks, etc..
4. If you are missing your driver’s license, be sure to contact the DMV to both place a stolen card alert in your file and to order a replacement license.
5. Notify your credit card companies. Request replacement cards with new account numbers, and be sure to update any companies that charge you on a monthly basis for anything with the new number!
Other companies/services/cards to consider checking on, depending on your situation:
Car insurance company
Health club card
It is inevitable that at some point in your life, you will lose an important document, paper, wallet, or purse. The key is to be ready for when that happens – somewhere in a safe place in your home, you should have things like a list of all your credit cards and their customer service phone numbers, a list of all your bank account numbers, and anything else you might quickly need information for. This is so when an incident occurs, you are more than ready to stop anything worse from happening to you.
So, this leads me to you guys – have any of you ever had your wallet stolen, and what other steps did you take to get everything back on track?
Photo by The Consumerist