Few think about what happens when a wallet is lost, stolen or otherwise misplaced. However, wallets can fall out of a pocket, be forgotten on a counter or the wallet might be taken by someone with larceny in mind. Let’s say you just learned how to list an item on Craigslist. If you leave to sell the item and lose your wallet, you could be up a creek without a paddle! It can be moments or hours before you realize that valuable possession is missing, usually when you reach for that wallet to pay a bill or to buy gas to get home. The first response is a sick feeling in the stomach and panic.
Stop and Think
The most important thing to do immediately after losing your wallet is to stop. Frantic action does little good and can lead to bad judgement. Allowing panic to take hold only worsens the situation, because panic tends to freeze the brain and stop rational thought. Force yourself to stay calm. You want to be able to think about where you have been and the possible locations of the missing wallet if it has not been stolen. List all the places you have been since the last time you saw your wallet. Don’t forget about cars and parking lots. Consider the most likely place the wallet might have been left, lost or stolen.
Make a Thorough Search
Start your search with your purse and person. Sometimes in an absent moment, a person might tuck the wallet into a different pocket or into a coat pocket instead of a back pocket. Those who carry purses need to completely check out their purses. Those large purses offer lots of places to hide a wallet. Call or revisit places you have been since you last saw your wallet. Check out chairs, aisles, counters. Check out your car and all around your car. Give out your cell phone number when you call. That way, if someone in those businesses discovers the wallet, you will get a call. Consider the possibility that you accidentally left your wallet on the night stand at home. Chances are, you will discover you simply left your wallet in an unusual place.
Notify the Proper People
If you cannot locate your wallet, you need to consider that it has been stolen. Having your credit cards and identification fall into the wrong hands can cause devastating problems, especially if someone decides to go on a shopping spree using your credit cards. Even worse than the loss of your good credit is the loss of your identity. Should someone use your information to steal your identify, if can take months or more to straighten everything out. You can be left with credit and finances in ruin. Notify the proper authorities. You don’t want to try and explain why no missing wallet report was filed should your cards be used for fraud or identify theft. Which is why it’s probably a good idea to read a few LifeLock reviews to get covered.
Cancel Credit Cards
The next step is to make a list of the information that was in your wallet and notify everyone that your credit, ATM or debit card or other information is missing. Every card issuer has procedures to go through in order to protect you. It is worth a bit of hassle to ensure the safety of your cards. Be sure to also call your bank. Your cards will be cancelled and new cards, with a new number and a new password will be issued. If you have accounts that are used for automatic payments, be sure to deal with this situation before a problem arises with a closed account. If anything in your wallet has your social security number on it, notify Social Security. Also notify the department that issued your driver’s license to start the process of getting a new license.
If you kept keys in your wallet, change the locks as soon as possible to protect yourself and your property.