8 Immediate Steps ToTake After Confirming Your Wallet Was Lost or Stolen!
Do you know what’s in your walletin case it’s lost or stolen?
Personally, I haven’t lost my wallet yet, but I have misplaced it a few times and to my luck, was able to find it after almost having ananxiety or heart attack. The feeling would give me such nervousness and worry in such instances, that I would imagine someone else finding it and splurging themselves with a wild shopping spree using my cash and credit / debit cards?! While wondering of all scenarios possible, I’d also think about what steps of action to take in terms of what to do, who to contact, where to locate the information needed to contact those stakeholders that would assist me in ensuring that my information is not mis-used and the cards get inactive. One would also have to realize that besides the evident and obvious parties to contact (i.e., financial agencies and credit bureaus), there is a handful of other places to reach such as DMV for replacement of Identification Card or Driver’s License, Social Security Office for replacement of Social Security Card, and / or the insurance agencies. All of these steps would have to be timely taken in order to avoid unnecessary hassle in terms of fraudulent transactions and identity fraud.
In order to be ready when placed in such an unfortunate situation, listed below are the steps to take and preparation to haveprior and after your wallet (or purse) is lost or stolen.
1. Is it really lost or just misplaced?
First and foremost, take 10 big breaths and try to stay calm prior tomaking any assumptions and calls to alert, cancel, or place holds with the various agencies affected by the content of your wallet. Try to relax, rethink, retrace your steps, call the places you have visited, and keep searching in every crack. Many times, we assume that we lost it and end up finding it at either odd or obvious places like between the seats of the car or laying on the floor, to name a few.
2. Once confirmed it is lost, immediately call all financial agencies!
Here is a list of major Credit card agencies numbers:
VISA: 1-800-VISA-911 (1-800-8472-911) or 1-303-967-1096 (Global, call collect)
MASTERCARD: 1-800-627-8372 (US) or 1-636-722-7111 (Global)
BANK OF AMERICA: 1-800-432-1000
TD BANK: 1-888-751-9000
WELLS FARGO: 1-800-869-3557
3. Call all three Credit reporting agencies to put an alert fraud protection.
Be sure to contact the three giants in the credit bureau world: Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. Alerting these financial credit agencies is great practice as they may restrict your account to certain limitations per your request. In addition, while you’re in contact with them, order a credit report to ensure you have no charges / accounts that are not intended.
Below are the contact numbers:
EXPERIAN: 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742) www.experian.com
EQUIFAX: (1-800-525-6285) www.equifax.com
TRANS UNION: (1-800-680-7289) www.transunion.com
4. Filea Police or Sheriff report with your local law enforcement agency.
In today’s world of evil and wrongdoings, we all have hope that a good-heartedSamaritan would turn up and turn in your lost item to the nearest Lost & Found place. By filinga Lost and Found report will help you to have an official document in case if some sort of proof or evidence is required. In addition, if some lost items are insured, most insurance companies would request for a copy of a filed Police / Sheriff report prior to opening a claim. When filing a report, try to be as detailed as possible by stating the estimated location and time, the description of your wallet, color shape, size, make / design, items stored in the wallet and the amount of valuable(s) lost (for insurance purposes).
In the event of a stolen wallet, it is recommended to provide a description of suspect(s), if applicable, or whoever you suspect of theft. The level of detailed information will also aid the law enforcement personnel build a case, especially if similar cases have occurred in the past to other victims.
5. Contact the Federal & State Agencies, mainly for identity theft precautions:
1. Call the IRS Identity Protection Unit at 1-800-908-4490 (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/identity-protection)
2. File the loss with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT (https://www.ftc.gov/)
3. Internet Crime Complaint Center, see following link to make a general filing with the FBI: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
4. DMV (1-800-777-0133) http://www.dmv.org/replace-license.php
5. Social Security: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Or see link to open an online account and order a new card: https://faq.ssa.gov/ics/support/kbanswer.asp?QuestionID=3755.
6. Buy a new wallet, scan everything you have in it, and get a new set of keys (if keys were part of the lost / stolen items)!
It’s alwayswiseto have a backup plan to a backup plan. Once you have requested andreceived or retrieved thenewly replaced credit cards, social security card, Identificationcard, Driver’sLicense, insurance card, membership card(s), passwords, Pin codes, combination codes, medication list, work badge, and etc., it is highly recommended to take images of each item, save and store in a place that is safe and secure such as a safe deposit box, vault, or other protected place. If some items included lost / stolen keys, it may complicate the matters and end up turning into a physical security issue. As such, we recommend you replacing the locks and obtain a new set of keys right away or as timely feasible to ensure you’re protected from any unwanted intruders. With keys missing, lost or stolen, this may complicate matters resulting in a physical security issue.
7. Contact all your memberships, subscriptions and health insurance services
If you have monthly prepaid subscriptions such asdigital / online publications, online services like Netflix, and even medical insurance, remember to call the respective entities once you have received your newly replaced debit / credit cards in order to update the billing information to avoid defaulting on payments.
Another type of service you have to be prompt to react is the health insurance information if it was one of the items that was part of your lost or stolen belongings. “Medical Identity” of your healthcare benefits presents a high risk if placed in the wrong hands. As such, contact your health care provider immediately so they can reissue your policy once you have your medical information has been lost or stolen.
8. Get a digital wallet app available throughGoogle Play or Apple Store
In order to mitigate a lot of misfortunates and unnecessary nuisance, I would recommend subscribing to digital records retention manager such as Wallet App, Wallet Manager or Password Manager.
The one I highly recommend is an app called “MyPhoneVault” which presents a peace of mind and prepares you for the worst case scenarios. You may rely on the app’s security and reliability in terms of having your information secure and safe as well as being able to be productive elsewhere while trusting MyPhoneVault’s e-Memory.
Whether you have been affected by loss or theft of wallet, belongings, important documentation, you will never feel lost or vulnerable with your confidential and privileged information vanishing. Your stored information can be retrieved from anywhere in the world via electronic device with the network access.
You can also visit www.MyPhoneVault.com to get more detailed information.