Among all our valuable stuff, a wallet is something that is most prone to stealing or getting lost. Although there’s no official survey being done, it’s said that 300,000 wallets are stolen every year in the US alone.
Honestly speaking, I don’t even need to present any database in order to prove what I’m saying. You all very well know that how common is wallet theft or how easily a wallet gets lost.
Despite that, we never tend to take the necessary precautions to secure our wallets and ultimately to prevent identity theft.
And now that you are reading this article today, you have most likely lost your wallet and want to prevent identity theft after losing wallet.
Here we are to help you out. Today we will be sharing with you some necessary steps that you have to take after you have lost your wallet.
Let’s get started before it’s too late to act and the thief starts using your data for some illegal business.
Use the given links to read the specific section of the article
- How To Prevent Identity Theft After Losing Your Wallet
- Some Tips To Prevent Identity Theft In Future
- What Else Should I Do After Wallet Is Stolen – Conclusion
- Some FAQs You Should Know
How To Prevent Identity Theft After Losing Wallet?
1. Calling The Debit Card Issuer
Let’s start taking the steps by calling the debit card issuer first. You might think that there’s no way a thief can use my debit card as long as they are unaware of my PIN.
But these high-tech thieves have a handful of ways to enter your bank account using your debit card which may result in cash being sucked up from your bank account.
But by calling your bank, you can request an immediate freeze on your current debit card and request a new one.
Make sure you request a freeze on your debit card as soon as possible after losing your wallet. If you report your debit card missing within 2 days of losing it, you’ll only be held responsible for $50 worth of unauthorized spending done.
After reporting it 2 days later but within 60 days, you are held responsible for $500 worth of unauthorized spendings.
Prior to the reporting done after 60 days, you’ll be held responsible for each and every penny spent on your name.
So basically, it’s sooner the better policy that works here.
2. Calling The Credit Card Issuer
Just like your debit cards, your credit cards are also prone to be used by someone if fallen into wrong hands once the wallet is stolen.
So it’s important that you call all your credit card issuers and request for a sudden freeze on all your cards.
As per the fair credit billing act, you won’t be held responsible for any unauthorized purchase made in your name if you have reported your credit card stolen.
And even if the thief has used the credit card before you report it missing, you’ll only be held responsible for $50 worth of unauthorized money spent.
3. Filing A Police Complaint
Filing a police complaint might sound totally worthless as the police won’t be taking any big measures for finding your wallet. But it’s something of utmost importance.
The moment you lose your wallet, all your personal information is at stake and you can be a victim of identity theft.
If your information falls in the hands of a serious lunatic, they can use this personal information for carrying out the most heinous crimes.
And at that time, your police complaint about missing wallet will act as a savior for you. Your police complaint will be evidence that it was not you who’s involved in these serious crimes. In fact, you are a victim yourself.
A stolen wallet police report is not just necessary for saving you from being a suspect of a crime but it will be needed for carrying out legal procedures as well.
For instance, if you file a complaint with Federal Trade Commission regarding the identity theft, you will be asked to fill out a certain form. And you need to have your police complaint number with you for filling out the form completely.
All these things make filing of a police complaint a must to take step once your wallet or handbag is stolen.
4. Setting Up Fraud Alerts
Once you have lost your wallet, it can be easy for an experienced thief to issue new credit cards and apply for loans in your name. And you need to prevent this from happening no matter what.
By contacting one of the three national credit bureaus, (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) you can set up a fraud alert.
Now whenever there’s a request for a loan or new card in your name, you’ll be contacted first to make sure if it was really you or the thief is trying to issue them in your name.
The fraud alerts that you set up in these agencies are free for 90 days. After that, you can request an extended period of fraud alert which can last 7 years.
Here are the numbers of all three national credit bureaus.
- Experian – 1-888-397-3742
- Equifax – 1-800-525-6285
- TransUnion – 1-800-680-7289
5. Reporting Stolen License
Keeping your driving license in your wallet or purse is not that big of a deal. So, when you lose your wallet, you automatically lose your driving license as well.
We don’t even need to tell that the data breach can also be done with your driving license as it has a lot of personal information about you.
Plus, if you will be driving without a license, you’ll have to pay a heavy fine. So it’s important to issue a new license as soon as possible.
Each state has it’s own set of rules and requirements for issuing a new driving license, so you have to contact your state DMV in order to know the procedure for issuing a new one.
Some states might ask for your residential proof and some might also ask for your police report number.
6. Alert Your Insurance Issuers
Insurance fraud is as common as dirt these days. A criminal mind with your wallet can not only steal cash from your wallet but can also claim false insurance in your name.
It seems like an impossible task but they are fluent in doing these things.
By calling your insurance issues, you can make them aware about the incident and request help. They will replace your insurance number with a new one and now the thief won’t be able to claim false insurance.
7. Getting New Social Security Card
Although you should never carry your social security card in your wallet, if your wallet is stolen with social security card, then it’s time to be cautious about the use of your information.
You have to contact any of the national credit bureaus and talk about the whole situation. Using a Social Security Card, it becomes easy for thieves to apply for loans in your name.
You can issue a new social security card for yourself but the card number is not going to change. That’s the reason why social security card should never be kept in a wallet.
But if you can convince the administration that your card is lost and being used illegally then there are chances that you might get a new social security card with a new number.
These are all the possible ways through which you can prevent yourself from identity theft when wallet is stolen and all the adverse outcomes of it. As for the cash in the wallet, consider it gone.
Some Tips To Prevent Identity Theft In Future
There’s no point in crying over the spilled milk. But yes, you can prevent the milk from spilling in future.
Using the given tips and tricks, you’ll be prepared beforehand if your wallet is lost or pickpocketed in future and you won’t have to worry about identity theft.
1. Monitoring Your Bank Activities
You are very well aware of all the transactions that you do daily, right? At the end of the day, just a quick glance at all the bank activities won’t take much time.
But it can ensure that no suspicious activities are not going in your bank accounts.
If you do find some bank transactions that you can’t recall then it’s time to contact your bank.
2. Getting Identity Theft Protection Plan
Your identity is your treasure these days and identity theft means your treasure is open to someone you don’t even know.
That’s why an identity theft protection plan is a must for everyone. These plans ensure that even if your identity is stolen, you get the reimbursement for it that you deserve.
3. Getting Advanced Wallets
The methods of stealing has changed with time. It’s not an era when thieves would risk themselves just for a few pennies.
It’s an era of identity theft which means that merely with a few details, a thief can suck up all the savings from your bank account. In more serious cases, your identity can be used for heinous crimes as well.
So it’s better to be one step ahead of these skilled thieves.
There are wallets available in the market that can prevent identity theft to a great extent. With a good RFID technology wallet, you can prevent your cash cards and passport from unwanted skimming. If you don’t like keeping wallets then a good RFID blocking sleeve or an RFID jamming card can do the job for you.
Some wallets in the market have GPS chips. If your wallet gets lost, you can track down the route of the thief and catch them red-handed.
What Else Should I Do After Wallet Is Stolen – Conclusion
You don’t know what kind of lunatic is carrying your wallet after you lose it. So you need to take every measure to safeguard yourself and your loved ones.
The above explained measures and tips and enough to protect your identity but still you can be more cautious.
If any of your cards has your current residential address then you should get the locks changed immediately.
If that’s not possible at the current moment, at least make your kids or your spouse lock the doors properly. And tell them to call the police ASAP if they notice someone suspicious just wondering around the house.
It’s not necessary that if you can’t find your wallet then it’s stolen. Maybe you have dropped it somewhere and now it’s with someone who is eager to return your wallet.
So make sure that once you lose your wallet, you keep your phone number always available. He/she might try to contact you at any moment.
FAQs You Should Know
There are plenty of things that you need to do in order to prevent identity theft after your wallet is missing. These things include a freeze of credit/debit cards, filing a police complaint, setting up fraud alerts, etc.
If police finds a lost wallet, they will surely try to find the right person and return the wallet to them. The cards in your wallet might have your residential address and phone number. So make sure to be available at home and keep your phone with you as they might try to reach you somehow.
You should call your card issuers and request the card freeze, file a complaint with police, issue a new social security card, alert your insurance issuer, report stolen license, and set up fraud alert.
After stealing your wallet, a thief will certainly take out all the cash that it has. After that, they will try to steal your identity from the various cards using an RFID reader.
You should never keep your social security card in your wallet as it’s very hard to get a new number after you lose it. You can easily get a new social security card but with the old number.
All you can do in order to locate your lost wallet is, ask the nearby police station if someone handed over a lost wallet to them.