Lost Wallet or Stolen Wallet – A Serious Identity Theft Risk
As frustrating as it is to lose your glasses or another everyday item, losing your wallet is downright dangerous. Whether you’ve simply misplaced it or someone has snatched it, you can’t help but feel nervous about the exposure of your personal information.
The things you carry in your wallet form the basis of your identity: your driver’s license, debit cards, credit cards and more. Thus, a stolen wallet can form the groundwork of identity theft. Be sure you’re prepared to act quickly in order to minimize your risk of identity theft in the event of a lost wallet or stolen wallet.
Smart wallet tips:
- Don’t carry anything you don’t need in your wallet or purse. This includes your Social Security card, extra credit cards, birth certificate, voter’s registration card and PINs or passwords you’ve written down on paper.
- Know what’s in your wallet so you know whom to contact in the event of a lost wallet or stolen wallet. You can make copies of the front and back of your cards, including driver’s license and medical insurance, or write down the account numbers and contact information. Store the copies or list in a secure place at home.
- If available, request credit and debit cards with your photo on the front. Instead of signing the back, write “please ask for photo id” to minimize the risk of identity theft and your cards being used by anyone but you.
- Help prevent fraud by alerting local law enforcement, your bank, your credit card issuers, your medical insurer, your state’s DMV and other appropriate agencies as soon as you realize you have a lost wallet or stolen wallet situation on your hands.