In a case of an emergency, it is important to be aware of the right things to do when your wallet is stolen. Recently I had the displeasure of getting my wallet stolen and while I was not aware of the crime committed until a couple of minutes after, I knew that it was gone and that I didn’t just misplace it. The biggest problem was not even the fact that my money was gone, but that now I had to go through a long and bothersome process of replacing my cards and protecting my identity. So in the case something like that happens to you, here are 7 things to do when your wallet is stolen to decrease your frustration.
1. Make Sure It is Really Stolen or Lost
Have you ever had a moment when you began to stress out because you thought your wallet was stolen but then awkwardly found it in a random place? Don’t worry you are not alone; we have all been through that. Therefore before accusing anyone of theft, one of the first things to do when your wallet is stolen is to take your forgetfulness into consideration.
2. Make a List of What is Missing
Once you are sure that your wallet was stolen, it is more than important to look back and try to remember everything that was in it. Think of any important documents, credit cards and write all of them down. Making a list will give you a plan of action, which you can follow in order to restore everything that you have lost.
3. Freeze Your Bank Accounts
The second you realize that your wallet is in the hands of a stranger, you should be dialing your bank. Its customer service section will freeze your account and help you figure out if your credit or debit cards were in use. Most banks do not hold you responsible for charges you didn’t make, therefore it is important to let them know about the state of your account so that you don’t end up paying for something you didn’t purchase.
4. Prevent Identity Theft
If you happen to have important identification cards such as driver’s license or bankcards, identity theft should be one of your concerns. Since you are not capable of protecting your identity yourself, your local police should be able to help you out after you file a report. Although it might seem ridiculous to file a police report over a stolen wallet, it can actually help you get your things back and prevent identity fraud.
5. Restore Driver’s License
One of the most bothersome things that result from this unfortunate experience is the fact that you now have to restore your driver’s license. We all know that once you enter a DMV office, it will take a while before you are out. However you will have to get it over with anyways, so it is better to do it right away. It is more than likely that DMV will require you to file a police report and in return you will get a slip for a free replacement of your driver’s license.
6. Change Your Account Information
If you happen to carry your account information in your wallet, it is best to be proactive and change your passwords as soon as you can. Furthermore, once you actually restore everything you had before and get a new wallet, make sure to leave out unnecessary information from your wallet and keep your account details somewhere safe instead.
7. Inform Authorities
Most of us have our SSN memorized and the actual copy stored safe at home but if you somehow ended up leaving it inside, you have to inform the authorities immediately. While they will issue you a new card, they will not give you a new number; therefore you should call the IRS Identity Protection Unit and reduce the risk of being an ID theft victim.
Stolen wallets come with a lot more problems than it might seem. The process of restoring your valuables can be lengthy but it is important that you complete it. What do you think are some important things to do when your wallet is stolen?