Our purses and wallets contain crucial information. If yours is stolen, it’s alarming and potentially dangerous — for your finances, identity and personal safety. Take the following steps to minimize identity fraud risk if your wallet goes missing.
Limit what you carry. More cards can mean more financial losses. On an average day, you may only need your driver’s license, cash and a credit card for emergencies.
Contact your financial institutions. Call your bank and credit card companies to stop any transactions and order new cards with new account numbers. After the theft carefully review your account statements to keep an eye out for unauthorized purchases — your credit card company may reimburse them.
File a police report. It offers a chance to recover your wallet and provides some protection against identity theft. It’s also a good way to catalog your wallet’s contents. Request a copy of the report for your records.
Get a new license. Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to learn how. Some offices offer online replacement services, while others require you to appear in person.
Update your home security. With your driver’s license in hand, the thief has your home address. (They may have your keys too.) Protect against further theft by changing locks and taking other appropriate measures.
Take additional precautions. What if the following were in your purse or wallet too?
- Social Security card: The U.S. Social Security Administration offers clear steps for replacing your Social Security card. Additionally, request a copy of your Personal Earnings and Benefits Estimate Statement after filing taxes to check for inaccuracies. Moving forward, avoid carrying your Social Security card in your wallet.
- Auto and health insurance information: Notify your insurance carriers and ask for new policy numbers.
- Smartphone: Follow these steps to increase its security.