What to do when your wallet is missing:                 .

First: Be sure to copy everything that is in your wallet just in case this happens.

If you have ever tapped on your back pocket or fished through your purse and come up empty, you know how it feels to find yourself without your wallet. Losing your wallet is frustrating. Having it stolen is downright stressful and violating. If you lose your wallet, you don’t have to lose your cool. By following a simple checklist, you can limit your liability and protect your identity from further danger.

Debit Card 1. Report Your Debit Card as Stolen With Your Financial Institution Generally, the faster you report your debit card stolen, the less unauthorized charges that you’ll be responsible for paying. If you report a debit card missing within two business days, you’ll only be liable for up to $50 in unauthorized purchases. Waiting longer (less than 60 days) could cost you $500 in unauthorized charges. If you go past 60 days without reporting your card stolen, you could be on the hook for all unauthorized charges. Along with reporting your debit card stolen, you can request that your bank freeze your checking account, so if you had checks in your wallet, the purchases would not be approved. You’ll also want to close your account and get a new one with another account number.

Credit Card 2. Contact Your Credit Card Issuers After reporting your card as lost or stolen, the card issuer will cancel your credit card numbers and mail you new ones. Also, they will credit your account for fraudulent charges. When you cancel the cards, update your automatic recurring payments with your new card information. If you’re not sure what cards were in your wallet, it may be wise to either cancel all of your credit cards, including retail cards, to avoid confusion and potential future fraud. Reviewing your credit report can ensure you’ve remembered all of your accounts.

Police Report 3. File a Police Report Filing a police report is an important step in safeguarding your identity if your wallet is lost or stolen. If you become a victim of fraud or identity theft, a police report can serve as evidence that you were a crime victim. When you file a police report, be prepared to provide key details, including what was in your wallet, when, how, and where it was stolen or lost and any other details about the wallet. Once you’ve completed the report, get the case number and keep a copy of the report for your records.

Copy 4. Keep a ‘Copy’ of Your Wallet Contents As a general guide, it’s a good idea to make a copy of your wallet contents in case it’s lost or stolen. Medical identity theft is a growing crime, so if you had insurance cards in your wallet, be sure to contact your insurer to cancel your old card and get a replacement. If not, your card information could be at risk of someone using it to pay for their medical expenses.

Fraud Alert 5. Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report Monitoring your credit reports is an important part of protecting your identity. When you place a fraud alert on one of your credit reports, the other two major bureaus must be notified of your request. If you want even more protection, you should freeze your credit to prevent lenders from issuing new credit in your name, which can impact your credit score in the long run.

Driver’s License 6. Replace Your Driver’s License Each state has its own rules for driver’s license replacement, so visit your state’s DMV website or office for details. Some states may request a police report number.

SSN Cards 7. Report Your Social Security Number Stolen Carrying your Social Security card in your wallet is a general no-no, but if it’s lost or stolen, you’ll need to contact the Social Security Administration so a new card can be issued. Keep in mind that you will not receive a new Social Security number (SSN), just a new card.

This information is from Experian ProtectMyID

Article Submitted to MSRN by Pat France, MSRN Member