So much of our lives take place online that we tend to assume all of our most important information will be saved in "the cloud." From money-sending apps to iPhone's Wallet feature and more, the idea of losing your phone might seem earth-shattering. But losing your physical wallet could cause you more trouble than having to shell out for the latest smartphone model. In addition to the inconvenience of having to replace your bank cards and driver's license, losing your wallet could mean having your bank accounts drained and even having your identity stolen.
Luckily, losing your wallet doesn't have to be the end of the world, especially if you get on top of these to-dos the moment you realize it's gone!
1. File a Police Report
Whether you misplaced your wallet or you suspect that it was stolen deliberately, you should file a police report so that there is a record of the loss. You'll need to tell the police exactly what was in your wallet at the time you lost it, where you were, and when it was.
2. Tell Your Bank
The first thing you should do when you notice your wallet is missing is to alert your bank. As soon as you report a lost or stolen card, your bank will make sure no one can use the missing card and will send you a new one.
3. Tell Your Credit Card Company
If your credit card is stolen and you don't report it, you may be liable for any purchases made after it was stolen, so it's important to report it right away.
4. Ask For a Fraud Alert
Once you've ensured that your money is safe, it's important to protect your credit score. Reach out to Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion and ask for a fraud alert to be put on your credit score.
5. Contact the Social Security Administration
Look, we all know you shouldn't carry your Social Security card in your wallet, but sometimes it happens. If it does, contact the Social Security Administration as soon as possible to explain what happened. You'll need to fill out Form SS-5 to get a replacement card.
6. Contact Your Insurance Company
Did you know that your medical insurance might be at risk of fraud too? If you carry an insurance card in your wallet, be sure to contact your insurance company to get the cards canceled and to receive a new one.
7. Replace Your Driver's License and Other ID Cards
Another reason to file a police report is that, in many states, having the police report could help you waive the fee for a new driver's license at the DMV. Give them a call or visit your nearest DMV location to get a new driver's license.