It’s inevitable, a lost or stolen wallet is in your future. It happened to me a few years back and it was a painful day getting everything back in order. I thought it would be helpful to anyone going through this situation right now to make a checklist for what to do now and in the future.
If you’re reading this and your wallet is not lost, skip to the bottom section where you will find four things you can do right now to lessen the damage if your wallet is lost or stolen.
Lost or Stolen Wallet? Here’s What To Do
- File a police report with local authorities.
- Your second priority is your money. If you had any bank information such as a deposit slip, paycheck, or an ATM card, immediately call the bank to notify them. If you lost an ATM card, ask for a replacement.
- After you take care of your bank, call the credit card companies to notify them to cancel and reissue your card.
- Call each of the three major credit bureaus and ask them to freeze your account. This will prevent anyone from opening anything in your name unless they have a PIN #, which is given to you. It costs around $10 per company, but it’s worth the protection.
- If your keys where stolen along with your wallet, call a locksmith to have your door rekeyed.
- If you lost your driver’s license, go to the DMV to get a new copy. Also, ask for an identification card and keep this card outside of your wallet.
- Get a new copy of any other cards inside of your wallet, such as library card, insurance card, gym membership cards, etc…
- For the next few months, place close attention to your credit report. Go to annualcreditreport.com and get a free copy of your credit report from just one of the reporting agencies. About a month after, get a copy from another reporting agency. If there is anything you don’t recognize, immediately contact each of the credit reporting agencies.
Lost or Stolen Wallet? How To Lesson the Damage
To lessen the damage of loosing your wallet, here are four things you can do right now.
- Make a copies, front and back, of everything you have inside your wallet. Keep at home in safe place.
- Remove social security card from wallet or anything that has your social security number on it.
- Put the phone numbers you need to call (banks, credit card companies, etc…) to notify that your wallet has been lost into your cell phone.
- Keep either a debit or credit card at home. Just because you have a card, doesn’t mean it has to go in your wallet.
When you have a lost or stolen wallet, you’re on high alert for your identify being stolen. By taking steps like calling the police department, banks, and credit card companies and immediately contacting the credit reporting agencies, you can lessen the risk of your identity being stolen.