When you’ve worked hard to get out of debt, the last thing you want to have happen is for your credit cards to get stolen and your accounts to get taken advantage of. So if you’re in a situation where you can’t protect yourself or your wallet and wind up with this important item getting stolen from you, it’s vital that you know what steps to take in order to try to protect what information you can and keep your finances from spiraling out of control.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three things to do if your purse or wallet gets stolen.
Contact Every Institution With A Card In Your Wallet
Most people have all kinds of cards and personal information in their wallet. And while your mind might first go to protecting your money and other financial accounts, you likely have other cards that could also prove to be problematic for you if someone tries to use your information or identity.
Knowing this, you should try to remember all the cards that you have in your wallet, including things like your credit cards, debit cards, health insurance card, driver’s license, and anything else that has your information on it, and then contact those institutions directly. Inform them that they had your purse or wallet stolen and that you’d like to put a hold on your card in the event that anyone tries to use it. This way, you’ll be better able to keep your money safe and your identity from being used without your knowledge.
Create A Fraud Alert And Monitor Your Credit
Sadly, some people choose to keep their social security card in their purse or wallet. And while this can be convenient in a few rare situations, it also opens you up to a lot of risk. So if you had your social security card in your wallet when it got stolen, you’ll want to take extra steps to secure your credit and your identity.
As part of this, you should contact a credit-reporting agency and inform them that you need a fraud alert associated with you and your social security number. By doing this, you should be informed if someone tries to open an account with your social security number. And along with this measure, you should also keep an eye on your credit to see if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
File A Report With Local Law Enforcement
While finding a lost or stolen wallet isn’t necessarily going to be the top priority of the police force in your area, it’s still a good idea to file a police report detailing the information around your stolen wallet and cards. With this police report documented, you’ll have ground to stand on if someone tries to steal your identity and gets in trouble with the law.
If your purse or wallet gets stolen and you lose possession of all your cards and personal information, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you protect your finances and your identity.