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How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft If Your Wallet Is Stolen

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Sometimes, the “if” in “life” happens and we are forced to dig deep inside ourselves and try and find some semblance of the life we had before the atrocity occurred. Sometimes if it is a car accident, sometimes the if it is a death of a loved one, and sometimes the if is someone stealing something from you. All of the options are horrible but the third one is something that you can do something about. Always remember when it comes to tragedy, the best offense is a good defense. Never allow yourself to be a victim of a crime because you were too lazy to take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your property.

What things should you keep in your wallet

In this new age of apple pay and other quick payment options like cash app and PayPal, now more than ever, you do not need to haul around your entire file cabinet full of information with you. This is a very bad idea and one that can cost you dearly if you are caught off guard and someone steals your belongings. The best thing to do when out and about with your wallet is to keep the bare minimum.

 

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The best thing that you should do is have your driver’s license or state ID, a little bit of cash, one single charge card and that’s about it. The fewer cards you have on you, the less you will have to do if your wallet is stolen. The truth is, normally you are just going from point a to point b in your day to day life so there is simply no need to haul around your social security card, passport, or anything of major significance while going to the grocery store or the park. This holds for an excessive amount of credit cards. If you are having to stop, block, cancel and replace 7 credit cards because you left your wallet on the counter at the grocery store, that will be a pain and a half for you when you only went to buy eggs and milk with cash. Be smart about what you have in your wallet and be sure to not allow yourself to be a victim.

 

What to do if your wallet is stolen

If your wallet is stolen, the first thing you need to do is take an inventory of all the items that you had inside of your wallet and commence with the prevention of further damage and cutting your losses. If you have a social security card and driver’s license inside of your car, you should contact all three credit bureaus and put a freeze on your account. This way if someone wanted to do a major charge on your account to buy a large item on your credit, the bureaus will not allow the charges to go through and damage your credit.

 

The next thing that you should do is to cancel all of the credit cards that you had inside of your wallet and check your transaction history online or by phone to make sure that the culprit has not yet taken your card and went out and spent the remaining balance on your card on nonsense. Retrieving funds from a stolen credit card is fairly easy these days and if someone has your card they can simply go online and make online purchases with your card and companies will accept it unknowingly.

 

Lastly, file a police report in the county where the crime was committed or the wallet was stolen to see if you were covered by your insurance company for losses. It is always best to file a police report so that the authorities are on the same page regarding your situation and can be on the lookout for any suspicious activity that may arise behind your account. The thing about filing a police report over theft is, the likelihood of the police actually finding the culprit or solving the crime is slim to none because of the workload but the information can be used to track where the crimes are being committed more often than not in order to eventually find the person responsible for the crimes later.

 

How to prevent someone from stealing your wallet

The best way to prevent someone from stealing your wallet is to not carry it around everywhere you go. AS I stated earlier, in most cases, you won’t need to just carry your wallet around unless you are going out to purchase something and even then, you will only need that card with the funds and an id to drive. Keep the wallet in a safe pocket. By safe pocket, I mean not inside of your loose-fitting gym shorts or baggy sweat pants where the wallet can fall out of your pocket as you are getting out of the car or out of a seat in a waiting area. If you happen to be working out or need to be wearing loose-fitting clothes for your job or another reason, be sure and keep the wallet in a place no one knows about either locked up in your car in the glove box or your gym bag inside of your locked locker. Use preventative measures to be sure and make it very hard for someone to steal your wallet.

 

What are the dangers of identity theft

Identity theft is a dangerous occurrence that has left many individuals in poor financial situation for years. It is one of the worst financial blows that can happen to a person and if it is at the worst opportune time, it can be the thing that ruins your life. Imagine you are purchasing a home and the initial pool of your credit is perfect. You have the score you need and the funds you need to make the home purchase in the next few months. Everything is on board and you lose your wallet and someone steals your identity right before the final pull of your credit so you can close on the house and you put down your last $20k as a nonrefundable earnest money deposit that you are unable to get back because someone stole your identity and you lost the home. This is enough to drive even the most zen individual into a deep state of despair and depression. Be careful that this is not you.

 

How to get a replacement social security card

To get a replacement social security card all you have to do is contact the social security offices near you and explain the situation and they can help you take care of the lost social security card in a few weeks. The process is pretty straightforward. First gather all of your documentation like your driver’s license or anything with your age, citizenship, and identity. This proves you are who you say you are. The next step is to go to the local social security administration office if you want to stand in the line or you can simply go online to fill out the forms and get a new social security card there. The web address is www.socialsecurity.gov and you will need to fill out an Application for a Social Security Card. This will ask for basic information for you to get the process rolling for your new social security card. The process of getting a new card takes between 10-14 business days so hopefully, you will not need a social security card within that time frame.

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