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What To Do When You Lose Your Wallet
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What To Do When You Lose Your Wallet

Losing a wallet never makes for a good day. You spend all day looking in every possible place you can think of, and by the time you've given up on finding it, you're worried that someone has already started using your ID or credit cards to make purchases for themselves. So, what do you do when you lose your wallet?

Obviously, you should look everywhere first, but once you've given up on finding it, it's important to call your bank and credit card companies ASAP to put a stop on all of your accounts. The longer you wait, the higher the chances of identity theft. So, look up the phone number for each bank where you have an active account, and let them know the situation. Larger banks generally have automated systems to help you deal with the problem, so you may not even have to speak with anyone. Make sure you tell your bank to issue you a new card, because if you don't, sometimes they will merely cancel your old card.

Call wherever you were when you last remember having your wallet, and let them know that you may have lost it in their establishment. Most public places have some form of lost and found, so you might get lucky and find that they've been holding onto it for you.

It's also not a bad idea to call the police and report it missing. If anyone turns it in, then the police will have an up-to-date way to contact you and return it. If any fraudulent charges appear on your bank statements later, having a police report proving that you did in fact lose your wallet can be quite handy to help prove your case to the bank.

Next, call your local Department of Motor Vehicles, or whichever institute issues drivers' licenses or identification cards in your area. Depending on the issuing agency, they may be able to send you a new identification card right away, although it may cost you a small fee.

If you were carrying a large amount of cash, contact your insurance company to see if you home or rental insurance might cover the loss. It's a long shot in most cases, but certain policies have provisions for this type of thing, so it never hurts to check.

You need to be worried about identity theft as well, since it's possible that someone might try to use your cards to make purchases from your accounts. Check your recent transactions by either using your bank's website or calling them to verify recent charges. It's important to take this action soon, because the faster you catch identity theft, the easier it is to clean up the mess afterwards.

Lastly, you'll need to make sure that withdraw enough cash to get you through the week or so that it will take to issue new cards. It's easy to become dependent on credit and debit cards, and you often don't realize how much you use them on a daily basis until you no longer have access to them.

Preparation, In Case This Ever Happens Again (Let's Hope Not!)

It's very helpful to have a list of each bank's phone number handy at home on a sheet of paper, along with all of your card numbers. You can also email this information to yourself, or place it in some secure area of your computer so that you don't have to bother looking up all of the bank contact information if the situation every comes up again.

Enrolling in an identity fraud protection service can often help you catch fraudulent activity early as well. In any case, if you act quickly, you can minimize the damage of losing your wallet. It won't be fun, but you'll get through it. Good luck!


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