Most of us have experienced that panicked moment when we can’t immediately locate our purse or wallet. Fortunately, it usually ends with finding it and a huge sigh of relief. For those of you that aren’t so lucky, following are some tips that will come in handy:
Call your credit card companies
Don’t just call and cancel your card, let them know the entire situation. If you are dealing with a thief, they may be able to track fraudulent charges and catch them in action. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers (both front and back) handy so you know whom to call. I actually keep this information on a spreadsheet on Google Drive. Then I can access the info anywhere I can get online.
File a police report immediately
in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations
to place a fraud alert on your name. Also, call the Social Security fraud line number. I had never heard of doing this until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
Following are the numbers you need to contact if your wallet has been stolen:
1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-62851-800-525-6285
2.) Experian: 1-888-397-3742 1-888-397-3742
3.) Trans Union: 1-800-680 7289 1-800-680 7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
Take the time to make photocopies of credit cards, your social security card and passport both fronts and backs. Then store in a secure location.
It’s our sincere hope is this never happens to you. But if it does, we hope you find these tips helpful.