Tips on what to do if your wallet gets lost or stolen.
Hopefully your credit cards are never lost or stolen, but chances are at some point in our lifetime, one or the other will happen to all of us. If it happens to you, you will be prepared!
1. Before anything bad happens, make a front and back copy of all your credit cards (your drivers license too!) and keep it in a safe or fire proof box. If your wallet is lost or stolen, you have everything you need right at your finger tips to contact and cancel any and every card you have!
2. Contact the companies that issued your cards RIGHT AWAY. As soon as you realize your card or cards are missing, make the call to the company to report the theft. The sooner you report the cards, the less likely it is that they will be used. (and the sooner you can get a new card sent out to you!)
3. After you report the theft to your credit card companies, you should get in contact with the three national credit reporting agencies. Tell them of the theft and ask them to attach a fraud alert to all of your credit cards. (It’s a good idea to keep their phone numbers with the copies you’ve made of your cards) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 Experian: 1-888-397-3742 Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
4. NEVER keep your Social Security card in your wallet. If you do, and it is missing as well, alert the Social Security Administration (1-800-269-0271). Also notify the Motor Vehicles Bureau if your driver’s license/state i.d. are missing.
5. Call the police. Notify the authorities in the area where your cards we’re stolen.
A few helpful tips on how to PREVENT getting your credit cards stolen in the first place!
1. Don’t take your credit cards to work with you. If you must, don’t leave your wallet or purse unattended at any point. According to a national study, there are more credit cards stolen at your place of employment than at any other single place!
2. Never leave a credit card in your vehicle. A big portion of stolen cards are taken from unattended cars.
3. Don’t carry any cards with you that you don’t need. Carry only those that you plan to USE! If you don’t carry the card with you, it probably won’t be stolen!
4. Review your credit card statements carefully every month. Even if someone doesn’t have your actual card, they could have your card NUMBER. The internet is a big place for stolen cards!
5. A lot of card offer “fraud alerts”. You can have your credit card company notify you when a large purchase has been made.
6. When discarding old statements or old cards, make sure you shred them properly! Your old statements have everything you need to know to steal someone’s credit card and use it online. Dumpster diving is a good way to lose your credit card information and/or identity!