What To Do If Your Wallet Is Stolen
Nothing can make you panic such as reaching for your wallet and realizing that it’s gone. You may have been queuing to pay for your bill at the supermarket or something else only to find it missing.Most of us have half of our lives in our wallets, debit cards, insurance cards, money and identity cards. If fallen into the wrong hands it can be very devastating, and you could also be a victim of identity theft. So, what do you do once your wallet is stolen? We will find out below.
Confirm That It Is Stolen
There have been some times where you may have thought that you have displaced it only to find it beneath the sofa that you sat in last night or at the office. You should, therefore, ensure that you have not misplaced it. You could also retrace your steps and check thoroughly. You may also call any of the places that you could have visited recently such as restaurant ts or other stores. Most people will give your wallet back when they find it. Once you ensure that it is stolen,we can then go forward to the next steps.
Call Your Credit,Debit And ATM Card Issuers
It is essential to call them and report that your card has been stolen. Most people will tell you to cancel them as soon as you notice that they have been taken but this could interfere with your credit score. The banks and credit unions follow a procedure that will ensure that your money and accounts are safe from any intruders and thieves. If any of the cards lost were used for debits, you would be required to inform those companies as soon as possible, preferably within a day or two. It will prevent your card from being rejected and your account not being paid. Your service could also be suspended so you should adhere to that accordingly, as much as you may panic and forget to report.
Set Up A Fraud Alert On Your Accounts
No one wants their identity stolen and thieves using it to open other new credit cards or even take loans in your name. This could be very devastating and stressful for anyone. You will be required to call one of the three national credit bureaus that are Equifax, Experian, and Transunion to request them to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You do not need to contact all of them; you need one. The one that you will reach out to will inform the other two so that they set up their alerts on your report. The fraud alerts remain there for 90 days, and in case anyone opens a new account or takes any loan in your name, you will be called first to confirm it.
Report It To The Local Authorities
To protect yourself in case of any identity theft or fraud that may be committed using your cards, it is vital to report the loss to the police. Do not assume that it is something that they do not have time for since ignoring it could land you in more trouble once a crime is committed with your personal information. They will ask you questions such as when you last had it, what was in it how the wallet looked like and if you have anyone suspicious in mind. Always remember to keep a copy of these records once you are done filing with the police.
Replace Your Driver’s License
In case your driver’s license was also in your wallet, you will be required to replace it. If you don’t do this, you may attract a massive fine in case you are driving, and a police officer stops your vehicle. To do this, you will need to pay a visit to your local DMV. Here, you will be required to report the loss to them. It is much easier to let someone drive you to their offices than to call them since they will process your application quicker and more efficiently. The requirements top reissue the license varies from state to state, and there may be some fees to be charged. You should ensure that you know all this information before getting there.
Change Your Locks
In case your house keys are missing, it is prudent to change the locks immediately. You cannot take the risk of people breaking in. Even though your wallet is returned in the right condition, you should change the locks since someone could have copied the key. You could choose a reliable locksmith to do it for you. Car keys are more difficult to replace, but you could contact the local car dealer to assist you in case the keys are missing.
Replace Your Social Security Card
The number one rule that you should never forget is that you should never carry your social security card in your wallet since thieves love that. It will make it easier for them to access any loans in your name. But, in case you made this mistake, you should report it immediately. You can get a new Social Security card online at http://www.assistedonlinefilings.com to use but not a new number so you should ensure that you have ordered a freeze on it too.
List Everything Else That Was Inside It
Take some time to yourself and think about any other cards that may have been in your wallet. They may be insignificant but could be very vital. Some of them include access badges to your workplace, medical insurance cards or even essential computer passwords that you may have written down.By knowing all this; you will know how to deal with the loss of each item that was left there.
Order Credit Reports
We are all,entitled to free credit reports every year from all the three credit bureaus.You should order yours and check if there had been any fraudulent activities happening.
Replace The Wallet
After this horrendous experience, you will be required to get your life back together. It will be done by replacing the stolen wallet with another one. You will then be required to fill it with your new replacement cards and other essential things that you may prefer. It will enable you to move forward whether the previous wallet will be recovered or not.
Losing a wallet can lead us into a panic. However, you will be required to calm down that you can safeguard your accounts and all your personal information. By following the above steps, you are sure to protect yourself from any identity theft and any more losses that could result from this.