What to Do If Your Wallet Disappears
If your wallet has disappeared, you know the intense panic that comes as soon as you realize it’s missing. After you’ve ransacked the car, the couch, and the pockets of all the pants in the house, it’s time to declare defeat and start the process of correcting and replacing the lost wallet.
File a police report.
Even if you don’t believe your wallet was stolen, you should still file a police report with your local precinct. Should someone pick up your lost wallet, they have the same amount of power to steal your money or identity as someone who stole it with intent. Hopefully you’re in a position where a thief would use the cash and discard the rest, but if you wind up in a case of identity theft, you’ll need a police report to show validity of a missing wallet.
Contact your financial institutions.
Call all of the issuers for your credit cards, checks and debit cards to put a fraud alert on all charges, cancel the cards and get started on the process of replacing them. Once you call your bank or credit union, they’ll be able to guide you through the process.
Make a list.
While it’s fresh in your mind, make a list of everything that was in your wallet. Besides cash or cards, there may be other items that need replacing, like an insurance card or loyalty memberships.
Set up a fraud alert.
Contact a credit bureau to report your cards as lost or stolen, so that any charges attempted to be made or borrowing attempted in your name will be protected from fraudulent activity.
Replace your ID.
Perhaps the most frustrating piece will be returning to the line at your local DMV to replace your ID or Driver’s License. If that’s the case, check your DMV’s website to find out exactly what you need before you arrive. Most sites will have an itemized list to make it easy for you to come prepared.
Once you’ve finished this list, it’s time to find a sturdier wallet, a purse with a zipper and ultimately remember that unpredictable problems are a part of life. As unsettling as it is to misplace something that houses so much potential value, the most important thing is to not panic or blame yourself.
Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.