What to Do If You Lose Your Wallet

Losing your wallet is a terrible feeling.

One moment you're on solid ground, going about your daily business, and the next, you're in free fall. If you're in this situation, frantically searching through your pockets and coming up empty, realize that most of us go through this at one time or another. Here are some steps to take to make sure you minimize the amount of time and money you spend making up for your carelessness.

Readers Digest Asia

Part 1: Evaluate the situation


  1. Don't Panic

If you've lost your wallet, don't panic. Take a deep breath. Losing a wallet isn't fun, but if you do this right, the consequences will be relatively minimal.

2. Check to make sure the wallet is lost

Before you dive in, do a quick search to check and see if you can find the wallet. Call the last few places you remember making a purchase or using your wallet, even if you're sure they're not there. Check all your bags, pockets, and every nook and cranny you can think of.

Part 2: Deal with your credit cards

3. Check your bank statements for charges

Whether you had a MetroCard, a social security card, a license, or three old sticks of gum in your wallet, you'll want to take stock of what you've lost. If you had your key in your wallet, consider changing your locks. Consider changing your passwords to any accounts that might have been connected to your bank information. Take note of any lost library cards, medical insurance cards (you'll need to cancel those too if they were lost), or other cards that might be important, and notify those organizations as needed. 4. Cancel or lock your credit or debit cards

This is a quick, easy, and important step you can take to prevent any fraudulent charges. Most banks allow you to lock or cancel your cards quickly via their website. If you think your wallet is lost somewhere in your house, not stolen, locking the cards is a good way to avoid having to order new ones. However, if you see fraudulent charges, cancel the cards immediately.

5. Call your bank

When you call your bank, tell them that your wallet was stolen, even if you aren't sure thats what happened. During the call, you can also put in an order for an expedited card. Once you report a lost card, you cannot be held liable for fraudulent charges. Make sure you also let your bank know if you were carrying any blank checks.

6. Contact anyone who might share your cards and let them know to cancel their cards

This step speaks for itself. Also, think of any recurring charges that might run into an issue if your card is canceled and address those as needed.

Part 3: Deal with your other cards and lost items

7. Make a list of everything that was in your wallet

Whether you had a MetroCard, a social security card, a license or three old sticks of gum in your wallet, you'll want to take stock of what you've lost. If you had your key in your wallet, consider changing your locks. Consider changing your passwords to any accounts that might have been connected to your bank information. Take note of any lost library cards, medical insurance cards (you'll need to cancel those too if they were lost), or other cards that might be important, and notify those organizations as needed.

8. Contact the DMV about your drivers' license

Most people carry their licenses in their wallet, so you'll probably want to get in touch with the DMV. To replace a driver's license, you'll often need to visit the DMV in person (be sure to bring your birth certificate and social security card or military ID). Every state has different DMV requirements, so check yours out here.

Part 4: Get the legal details in place and consider identity theft

9. Inform the authorities

You'll want to file a police report when your wallet is lost, especially if identity theft is a risk. Call your local police department's non-emergency number and ask them to file a report. You'll need to make the report in whatever area you think you lost the wallet in.

10. Inform the social security organization

If you lost your social security card, immediately report that to the Social Security Administration.

11. Create a fraud alert

Losing your wallet means you're entitled to a free credit report and fraud alerts. Even if you've canceled your cards, it's a good idea to put a fraud alert on your account, which will be free for 90 days and will alert you in the case of suspicious activity. Call these numbers to do so:

Equifax®: Equifax.com/CreditReportAssistance

1-888-766-0008Experian®: Experian.com/fraudalert; 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion®: TransUnion.com/fraud; 1-800-680-7289

Part 5: Damage control

12. Figure out what you need to do now

As you wait for your cards to arrive, you might be wondering how you're going to pay for everything. Most of the time, if you know your social security number and have some form of identification, you can go to the bank and get them to pull out money for you. If you're overseas, you can have relatives wire you money through Western Union.

13. Make sure this won't happen again

In the future, consider only keeping a few things in your wallet to minimize the consequences of losing it. Consider also how you might keep your wallet more protected. Realize that there's nothing you can do now except look to the future.

PayPath
Follow Us on

Artificial Intelligence is the way of the future, whether I want to admit it or not. Months ago, my friends raved about how ChatGPT saved their lives by writing crucial 10 page essays in 30 seconds or less. Tell Chat to do basically anything, and it will.

Keep readingShow less
Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash
In the era of TikTok, financial advice is just a scroll away. Everywhere you look, creators are making content on everything from budgeting to cryptocurrency – many with no real authority on the subject. Some are propagating get-rich-quick schemes, but some really do have genuine advice to offer. So in a world where anyone can claim to be a finance guru, how do you discern actionable advice from risky recommendations?
Keep readingShow less

Triangle of Sadness Dating Scene

via Triangle of Sadness
People are simple. We all want the same things: a comfortable life, a little treat every once in a while, and someone to clutch when the apocalypse comes. The last one, most of all. But I’m praying for anyone dipping their toes in the dating pool right now. We’re over inundated with choice and everyone is constantly looking over their shoulder for something better. Meanwhile, with all these confusing dating rules and the constantly shifting world of dating etiquette, I’m just searching for someone to look at me and say: “Pookie, you look amazing today.” Is that too much to ask?
Keep readingShow less