You are shocked after reaching into your pocket to bring out your wallet, and now all you can do is to ask yourself the question, "Where is my wallet?" If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps you can take to attempt to find your wallet and protect your identity.
1. Backtrack and Retrace Your Steps
There is the tendency to be agitated after discovering your wallet is not in your pocket, so be careful to conclude it is lost as you might have left it at a friend’s place, at a restaurant, inside your vehicle or maybe you did not even take it from your house when you left home.
In many instances, people lose their wallets by putting them somewhere they can’t remember. Therefore, retracing your steps and figuring out the last place you saw your wallet is a good idea the moment you notice it is missing.
After that, you can begin to visit the places you believe you dropped your wallet. You can also put calls through to stores, restaurants, banks, and other public places you may have visited if they found a wallet wallet on their tables or the floor.
Alternatively, you can check for your bank or credit card transaction history so that you can confirm the last place you used your credit card. You can go back there and see if your wallet is there.
2. Lock or Freeze Your Credit Report
If you cannot find your missing wallet, the next steps you take will be to protect your identity. By locking your credit report, you can prevent the right of entry to your credit report. Opening a new credit card account will be impossible with your name and address. This step is very important if your social security card was lost along with your wallet.
To lock or freeze all your reports immediately, you need to visit the three major credit bureaus to prevent criminals from opening new accounts in your name. There are ways to lock your report with each of the major bureaus:
Equifax provides locking and alerts free of charge.
TransUnion offers credit locking via free service and paid products.
Experian offers free credit locking
It is quite easy to lock and unlock your credit card, whereas freezing your credit attracts a monthly or an annual fee. Credit card locking is not governed by law in the U.S., but the law regulates credit freezing in some states. his implies that freezing your credit might offer more protection according to law, and you have more rights if you are defrauded after a credit freeze as opposed to locking your credit card. You can learn more on how to lock your credit here.
3. Call Your Bank To Report Your Cards As Lost or Stolen
You must report your lost cards to your bank to avoid fraudulent use. It is best to notify your bank immediately so necessary actions can be taken to block any transfer or withdrawal of funds through your credit cards. The money in your bank account will be frozen, and your credit score will not be affected.
Here are the contact numbers of major credit card issuers where you can report your card as lost or stolen.
Bank of America
4. File a Police Report
It is crucial that you inform the police of your lost credit card and also file a police report. You might be wondering if it is necessary as your wallet is stolen and the police might not be able to recover it again.
You might also feel the matter is trivial. However, Filing a Police report will help protect your identity, so if your name comes up in any crime incident, you can rest assured you will be vindicated based on the police report you have already filed. The report will serve as evidence which will exempt you from any accusations brought against you by someone stealing and using your identity to commit crimes.
5. Get a New Driver's License / ID
Since most people to keep their driver's licenses in their wallets, a thief can always make use of this fact once he sees a license in a stolen wallet. It is appropriate to call the issuing Department of Motor Vehicles or Department of Public Safety t so they can be aware that you have misplaced your driver’s license. You will also need to replace your lost driver’s license. You can visit the office in person and fill out the application. After that, you will be issued a new driver’s license with a unique number on it. The procedure might vary by state, but you can rest assured that this is what you should expect.
If you are a student and lost your student ID as well, you will need to report it to your school as lost and get a new one issued. This is usually done by the department handling student services which can vary depending on the university.
6. Change The Locks In Your House If Your Keys Are Also Missing.
If you make a habit of keeping your house keys in your wallet,, then you need to act fast as an uninvited guest might gain access to your home without authorization.
If your driver’s license was also in your stolen wallet, it will be easy for a thief to know where you live.If you don’t want the possibility of an armed robber in your home, get a locksmith to change every lock using each key that was lost. It doesn’t matter if a Good Samaritan returns your wallet to you or the police, someone might have duplicated your keys and could later break into your house to steal your valuables.
If you also kept your car keys in your wallet as well, contact your car dealership as they can help you get new keys for your car.
7. Report Your Lost Social Security Card
If your social security card was in your lost wallet, make sure you have already completed Step 2 and then contact the Social Security Administration, and they will issue you a new card. Here is an article that goes over how to replace your social security card.
8. Note Down All Items Lost With Your Wallet
Make a list of every item you can remember that was inside your wallet at the time it was lost or stolen; this includes your Driver’s License, Social Security Card, employment ID, student ID, credit cards, medical insurance card, and gift or store cards.
When you get a new wallet, make sure to have scanned copies of all items in it backed up to your online cloud storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive. A lot of places accepts digital version of your cards so it's always handy to have copies of these available on your smartphone.
9. Get Smart About Your Next Wallet
If you have tried your all to recover your lost wallet but all your efforts are to no avail, now it is time to think about your next wallet. This time, why not consider a smart wallet? After all, it's 2019, and everything is getting digitally connected so why not your wallet?
>Investing in a smart wallet could potentially save you a lot of time and headache.
This is why we have created Walli Smart Wallet-- a Bluetooth tracking-enabled, RFID- protected smart wallet for men which you can track online. Your wallet is connected to your phone and sends you alerts when you are too far away from your wallet.
Check out the all-new 2019 smart wallet from Walli Wearables now.
Our graphics designer Ionut created this awesome infographic which you can share to help friends if they lose their wallets.