People have a tendency to lose things in life. This is just something that none of us can avoid. The fact is that some people have a bad habit of losing their stuff. However, this is not true for most people. Still, the vast majority of people will lose their wallet or purse at least once during the course of their life. Very few people will get through life without losing this personal effect.
If you happen to lose your wallet or purse there is a lot for you to worry about. Still, there are some steps you can take to correct this situation. You will have to act fast and make sure you are watching your financial and personal documents. Lost wallets and purses can easily make you a victim of identity theft or fraud. People can also rip off your money or wreak havoc in your life by taking your I.D. and having access to your money. Keep reading the 5 steps to take immediately when you lose your purse or wallet. These steps will protect your identity and your money if you experience this kind of situation.
Step 1: File a Police Report
When your wallet or purse is lost you should file a police report. This is important because a police report will help to protect you from identity fraud. If a person finds your lost wallet or purse, they can take your I.D. and do all sorts of things with it. If you file a police report, you can easily dispute any strange or abnormal charges or actions that were done in your name. For example, if someone finds your wallet and they use your personal checks to purchase $50,000 worth of firearms (and you don’t have that kind of money in the bank); you can easily dispute the transaction by having a police report.
Keep in mind that having a police report for your lost purse will not always guarantee that you will be off the hook for fraudulent purchases. Still, it goes a long way with helping you to support your position that you did not make fraudulent charges. The police report will show that your lost purse was found by someone who decided to use your credentials for the wrong reasons. A police report will also help you to avoid any future problems in the event someone has committed fraud with your I.D. in the future.
Step 2: Contact your Local Bank
Many people keep different things in their wallets and purses. Most people keep their financial items in their wallet. Financial items such as credit, bank, checking or debit cards are typically kept in wallets or purses. People also keep personal and cashier’s checks on them as well as gift cards. All of these items are connected to a person’s finances. If your personal items are lost and someone finds them, they can easily exploit your finances.
You should call your bank when you are done filing a police report. If you lose your wallet or purse during the evening hours, call the bank the following day. Just make sure you report your banking items lost so that they can put a stop to any savings, checking, debit or credit cards. They can also stop any of your personal checks from being cashed. If they have to, they can simply close your savings or checking account and open up new accounts in your name.
Bank issued cashier’s checks, money orders and/or gift cards will be harder to recoup. You will have to know the card number for these items if you want to stop thieves from using them. This is easier said than done. Most people just do not record the checking, money order or gift card numbers on these financial items.
You can keep the receipts for these items in a safe place. Receipts usually have the check, money order or gift card number printed on this document. However, your bank might keep this type of information stored on your account after a transaction. They should be able to help you to put a hold on these items before they are used. The main thing to remember is to report the items lost to your local branch. They can then take the necessary steps to stop a person from spending up your money or committing fraud with your financial information. You can also take these actions with financial documents that are purchased from other places besides banks.
Step 3: Inform the Credit Card or Debit Card Companies
Call your credit card company when you lose your credit card(s) and you know that you will not find it. This step is critical with keeping your credit score from being affected. When you report a lost credit card, a company will typically put a stop to the lost item. They will then issue you a new card.
You should also contact the credit bureaus to inform them about your situation. This way they can note the incident to your credit file. If something turns up wrong or incorrect from the incident they will not impact your credit score because of fraud or identity theft. You should also set up fraud alerts with the credit bureaus.
Fraud alerts will simply inform the credit bureaus that your information could have been or will be compromised. The credit bureaus will note this information on your file so if someone is trying to get some type of purchase using your credit they will have to go through an extensive identifying process to complete the transaction.
Step 4: Replacing your Personal I.D.
People tend to keep their driver’s license, birth certificate and social security card in their wallet. They also keep things such as a school I.D. or work badge in their purses as well. If these items are taken after they are lost, a person will have access to an individual’s identity. You can replace all of these items by simply going to the appropriate agencies within your city to get them.
Keep in mind that the social security office in your city will issue a social security document that will help you to retrieve this document when it is lost. However, you should never carry your social security card in your wallet or purse. Drivers licenses can be picked up at the local Department of Motor Vehicles in your city. School and work I.D.s can also be replaced by going to the places that issued them.
Step 5: Personal Items
Personal items such as pictures, tickets to events or contact numbers will usually be lost forever if no one turns them in. Event tickets might be replaced by a ticket company but that will be hard to do. Hopefully, you should have items such as photos and contact numbers backed up to a database. Women that lose their smartphones or personal cosmetics or perfumes in their purses will probably not be able to get these items back either.
If you lose your cash in your wallet or purse, you might as well forget about getting your money back. There will be a slim chance of this happening. In short, personal items will typically not be recovered when you lose your wallet or purse. So, you should be careful about the type of things you carry around. Ultimately, these 5 steps will help you to protect your identity and your finances when you lose your personal effects.
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