What do you do if your purse or wallet is lost or stolen? This is a question that usually is not asked until it happens. Keep reading to learn the steps you should take.
According to bigskinny.net, no official surveys have been done to determine how many wallets get stolen each year, but it’s believed that:
- Around 1,000 purses and wallets are stolen every two minutes in the U.S.
- If this is accurate, that means just under 300,000 wallets are stolen every YEAR in the U.S. alone!
Your wallet or purse has been lost or stolen, what do you do?? DON’T PANIC!! Keep your cool and follow these steps from LifeLock:
- Call the issuer of your debit card – thieves can do A LOT of damage with your debit card in just a short amount of time. If you report your debit card missing within two business days, you’ll only be responsible for a maximum of $50 worth of unauthorized purchases and most banks won’t even charge you that.
- Call the bank that issued your checkbook – if you still carry a checkbook. You’ll need to close your account completely and open a new one. Be sure to change all your automated payments and direct deposits as well so no service is interrupted.
- Call your credit card companies – according to the Fair Credit Billing Act, you are not responsible for any fraudulent purchases on your credit card as long as you report your card stolen before a thief starts using it. If a thief does use it before you report it, you’ll only be responsible for a max of $50 of unauthorized buys.
- Set up fraud alerts with the national credit bureaus – Call one of the three national credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax or TransUnion, to request they place a fraud alert on your credit report. Lenders and creditors are then required to take steps to verify your identity before opening new credit cards or loans in your name.
- File a police report – If you’re a victim of identity theft, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and fill out an Identity Theft Affidavit. This affidavit allows you to fill out one form to report information to creditors and lenders regarding your case of identity theft. You might also need a police report to get a new driver’s license or social security card.
- Replace your social security card – hopefully this isn’t an issue because you left your social security card at home! But if you didn’t, you’ll need to contact the social security administration who will probably not give you a new number, but will give you a new card.
- Check your credit reports for unusual activity – you can order one copy of each of your three credit reports – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, at no charge, once a year. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com
- Get a new driver’s license – Visit your local DMV for a new license. There will most likely be a fee.
- Change the locks – If you kept a key to your home in your wallet, or purse, it’s time to change your locks. A thief now has your address from your driver’s license and a key to your house.
- Make a list of what else was in your wallet – start replacing those cards you carried in your wallet like your health insurance cards. Then as needed, your library card, gym membership, grocery discount card, etc…