August 8, 202110 Things to Do If You Lose Your Wallet
You don’t think it will ever happen to you — and then it does. You lost your wallet. And you didn’t even realize it was missing until you needed it the most. You may naturally want to panic, but simply stay calm and take these ten steps:
Call Your Debit Card Issuer
If your wallet is lost or stolen, this should be your first step: Call the financial institution that issued your debit card so that you can stop anyone who may have it from doing a lot of damage. If your PEFCU Visa® Debit Card is missing, you can call our Member Contact Center at (800) 226-6673 during our regular hours, or call (855) 477-1129 after hours and report that your card may have been stolen. Any financial institution will usually cancel your card immediately and issue you a new card with a different card number. They may also review any recent purchases listed on your account to confirm if they are your transactions.
Contact Your Credit Card Companies
You should definitely contact your credit card companies, next. If your PEFCU Visa® Credit Card is missing, you can call our Member Contact Center at (800) 226-6673 during our regular hours, or call (855) 477-1129) after hours and report that your card may be lost or stolen. Note: Don’t close or cancel your credit card account, since this might affect your credit reports. Instead, ask that your missing credit cards be suspended and that new cards be issued.
Activate Fraud Alerts
Set up fraud alerts as quickly as possible once you realize your wallet is lost or stolen. This can be done through the major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
File a Police Report
It’s really important that you file a police report to make sure you’re protected from identity theft. Once you file a police report, you can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and fill out an Identity Theft Affidavit. This document proves to businesses and creditors that you were a victim of identity theft.
Report Your Social Security Card Stolen or Lost
You should never carry your Social Security card in your wallet, and you’ll want to be extra alert if it was in your missing wallet. You may get a new card through the Social Security Administration, but it’s unlikely that you will get a new number. New numbers are typically provided in extreme cases only. As a result, it’s highly recommended that you sign up for identity theft protection if your Social Security card is stolen.
Check for Unusual Activities on Your Credit Reports
If you lose your wallet, you must check your credit report to make sure no one uses your identity to apply for loans or open new credit lines without your permission. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) at www.AnnualCreditReport.com to verify activity.
ListtheContents of Your Wallet
Chances are, like most people, you carry many different cards in your wallet. While some are not so important, such as punch cards for free gas or coffee, others are; for example, your health insurance cards. So, make a list of everything you carried in your wallet and start replacing what you need.
Freeze Your Credit
When you freeze your credit, lenders are blocked from accessing your credit report. If fraudsters try to open a loan in your name, the lender won’t be able to check your credit to approve the loan. You can freeze your credit report by contacting each of the three major credit bureaus (www.Equifax.com, www.Experian.com, and www.TransUnion.com). You can remove the freeze whenever you choose.
Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles
If your driver’s license was lost or stolen, you can get a new one by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles. The requirements for getting a new license vary by state, so be sure to visit your local DMV website to find out what documents are needed. If you’ve filed a police report due to your stolen wallet, bring a copy of the report with you to the DMV.
Consider Taking Out Identity Theft Protection
Even if you’ve canceled your debit and credit cards, you might still be vulnerable to fraud. Thieves could steal your identity by using other items in your wallet, such as your driver’s license or health insurance cards. You may want to consider enrolling in identity theft protection and credit monitoring services for a year to make sure you’re safe. In return for the monthly fee, you will have greater peace of mind knowing your financial accounts and credit score are protected.
We’re Here to Help!
Losing your wallet is both frustrating and scary. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. If your wallet has recently been lost or stolen, please contact PEFCU immediately by calling (800) 226-6673 during our regular hours or (855) 477-1129 after hours or by coming to any of our branch locations. Our team will walk you through the steps needed to reduce potential financial loss and prevent identity theft.
Each individual’s financial situation is unique, and readers are encouraged to contact PEFCU when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; It does not constitute legal advice. If such advice or a legal opinion is required, please consult with competent local counsel.