How to protect your identity when you lose your wallet
- File a police report. I was advised to file a report with both the New Jersey Transit Police and my local police department. This isn’t just to report the wallet missing or stolen. It’s also to have a police report in case someone tries to steal your identity. If they succeed in taking credit out in your name or even using one of your credit cards, a police report will help prove that your information was taken.
- File a 90-day fraud alert with the three major credit reporting agencies. When you file a fraud report with Equifax, Experian and Trans Union, if someone (including you) attempts to use credit under your name, you will be contacted. It could actually make getting credit more difficult during the time the fraud alert is active, but it's better to fill out a few extra pieces of paper to get yourself a new car than to live with someone taking credit out in your name.
- Call your insurance company to get a replacement medical insurance card.
- Get a new driver’s license as soon as possible. You aren’t supposed to drive without your license on you.
- Consider changing the locks to your home if you lost your keys as well. Think about it. Your name, address, credit cards and other personal information are in your wallet. Whoever finds it will know exactly where you live and have a key to get in.
- Think about all the other things that were in your wallet. If your social security card was in the wallet (you shouldn’t keep it there, but some people do), contact the Social Security Administration and ask them what to do. I had one card in my wallet that one of my best friends who is a police officer gave me that identifies me as someone he vouches for. I needed to let him know I lost it, and that someone may try to use that card with his name on it. Most people are bound to have something unique in their wallets that they need to think about.
- Change any direct payments that are taken from your credit or debit cards. If you have bills charged regularly to them like Netflix or EZPass for tolls, make sure you change the card information online with the companies.
- In about a week, request your credit report. Make sure that no one has tried to take out credit in your name.
- Replace things like your library card, gym membership card and any other cards that were lost.
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