We have all experienced that blanket of panic that comes over us when we think that we have lost our wallet. The feeling lingers for some time even if you manage to find your wallet, but what should you do if you do lose your wallet? After all, we carry around so much in them such as cash, cards, Identity cards, and even important numbers.
Follow the ten tips below to help you act fast should you be unfortunate enough to lose your wallet.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Try to determine if it is lost, stolen or misplaced
- 2 2. Call your bank and credit card provider
- 3 3. Put a fraud alert on your accounts
- 4 4. Report the loss or theft to the Police
- 5 5. Report your missing driver’s license and order a new one
- 6 6. Change any locks
- 7 7. Your social security card
- 8 8. Think about everything that was in the wallet
- 9 9. Identify any fraudulent spending
- 10 10. Purchase a new wallet
- 11 Bottom Line
1. Try to determine if it is lost, stolen or misplaced
When we are unable to find our wallet, we either believe that it has been lost permanently or stolen. However, this is not always the case as you might often find that you have put it in a different pocket or left it in your car.
So, if you find that your wallet has gone, first try and retrace your steps and call back in at some of the places you have visited. You will be surprised at just how many people will hand a wallet in when they find it, so you could be one of the lucky ones, However, if you cannot find it then it is time to act fast.
2. Call your bank and credit card provider
Often, many people will dive straight in and phone their bank or credit card provider to cancel their cards but this is not always necessary just after losing your wallet.
Canceling the cards can cause you all kinds of problems and so, you want to report them as lost or stolen, which is a different angle of approach. Some providers and banks will temporarily suspend those cards.
Once this has been done, you should then ask for new cards to be sent out to you as soon as possible. You will also need to think about those cards that were used for any automatic payments and inform those companies as well. If you fail to do this, the payment won’t be made and you could end up being fined.
3. Put a fraud alert on your accounts
You need to let all of your accounts know that your cards have gone missing and that you want to put a fraud alert in place. At this point, all creditors will have to verify your identity by following the agreed security procedures that are in place, such as calling a specific number that you have put on file. This will prevent anyone who finds your cards from spending any of your money.
4. Report the loss or theft to the Police
At this point, you won’t know whether your wallet is stolen unless you saw the thief make off with it. However, this is more about alerting the police your loss or theft in case somebody hands it in or even if a Police Officer finds it.
Also, if you do become a victim of fraud following the loss or theft of your wallet, you will be able to provide evidence.
Before reporting it, consider where and when you lost the wallet, what it contained, what it looks like and if you saw someone steal it, what they looked like.
5. Report your missing driver’s license and order a new one
Most people keep their driver’s license in their wallet these days and that means if you lose it or it gets stolen, you need to inform the relevant authorities. There is every chance that if it gets into the wrong hands it could be used for identity fraud. So, the sooner you report your driver’s license as missing, the quicker they class it as invalid and begin the process of arranging a new one. Just remember that you will have to pay for a new license, something that could be tricky if you have just had your bank cards stolen.
6. Change any locks
It is common for many people to carry their keys in their wallet but when you lose it along with any ID, it could mean that your property is at risk. Even if the wallet is found, you have to understand that a replacement key could be made. This would then give them instant access to your home without you even knowing.
If you know for definite that the house keys were in your wallet, then you need to change the locks. Yes, it will cost you but you cannot put a price on the safety of you or your family. In some instances, it is possible for you to have also lost your car keys when you lose your wallet. This is not so simple to sort out but it is something that you will need to deal with because it leads to your car being stolen.
Many people carry their social security card in their wallet. So, if it was in your wallet when it went missing, you need to inform the authorities immediately. It is a unique code that relates to you as an individual and that means it can be used for many different things. While you will not be given a new number, you will be given a new card but at least you have it on file that it went missing.
8. Think about everything that was in the wallet
We tend to carry so much around in our wallets, that often we are unaware of what was or might have been in there.
Then in a few weeks’ time, when you go to get your membership card, you realize that you no longer have it and that it was in your wallet. So, try to make a list of all items that would have been in your wallet and then contact those companies. Even if the original card is found, you will at least have a new shiny one to use.
9. Identify any fraudulent spending
There is a possibility that some payments can slip through the net, even after you have reported your cards as missing. Therefore, take the time to go through your accounts and see if you can identify any fraudulent spending.
10. Purchase a new wallet
It is almost impossible to live without a wallet, so once you have lost yours, it is time to go out and purchase a new wallet. You might be lucky and have a replacement at home but whatever you do, make sure you get a new one. Your wallet is the place where you keep your life in check and keep everything organized. You can then begin to make a list of all the cards that you put in this new wallet along with all the other contents so you can at least make things easier for yourself if you lose it again.
Losing your wallet can really turn your life upside down. We rely on them on a daily basis and we turn to them whenever we need to grab something that is important to us. They go everywhere with us and so, they are at risk of being lost or stolen. However, how you react after it has happened is vital to getting your life back on track. Keep this list as a handy guide as to what you need to do. Then, should it happen again, you will know exactly what you need to do to ensure that normal service resumes as quickly as possible.