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October 01, 2021 6 min read
If you reach into your back pocket and notice that the space which snugly fits a wallet is suspiciously empty, don’t despair. Not only do wallets have a solid chance of turning back up, but there’s a lot you can do to find it yourself. And if worse comes to worst, then you can grab yourself a better wallet and follow our steps (below) to never lose it again.
But before that happens, let’s help you locate that missing wallet. Here are the thirteen steps you should follow if you ever find that your wallet is missing.
Even if your wallet contains your life’s belongings, try not to panic. Studies show that a surprising number of wallets get returned to their rightful owner each year. Besides, stress can make it much harder to search for your missing wallet.
Before you report your credit cards lost, take a less drastic step by putting a “freeze” on your credit cards. This will prevent anyone from using them and can quickly be undone if your wallet shows up.
Once you remember where you used your wallet last, immediately forget everything you did before that moment. There’s absolutely no need to do any kind of searching in places you visited before you used your wallet for the last time.
It helps to give yourself a few minutes to sit and write down everything you did and everywhere you went—preferably in chronological order.
Don’t assume that a restaurant, museum, or bank will call you if they find your missing wallet. Instead, give them a ring yourself.
Make a list of all the businesses you frequented after you last saw your wallet. Then, save yourself the numerous trips you’d have to make and call them to ask if they found a missing wallet.
If none of the businesses you visited found your wallet, then it’s very likely that you either dropped it in a public place (such as the street or subway) or you left it somewhere in your car, office, or home. Using your list, retrace your steps, starting with the last thing you did.
Losing your wallet definitely sucks, but there’s no need to do things that don’t make sense. For instance, checking your fridge and cupboards will only waste time and frustrate you. However, the washing machine might prove fruitful if you tend to wash your wallet while it’s in your jeans.
If someone found your wallet, the police station is one of the most likely places that they’ll bring it to. Go to several precincts in the vicinity of where you spent your time after last seeing your wallet.
As a last resort, check out the post offices in the area. While it’s not the most likely location for returning a wallet, certain good samaritans who want to get your wallet back to you might want to do it through the mail.
If someone found your wallet and couldn’t get a phone number where they can reach you, they’ll probably try to find you online. In that case, you might get a friend request from a stranger. While your first reaction might be to decline it, keep an open mind and remind yourself that this could be the stranger who found your wallet.
At this point in your search, you might think that you’ll never reconcile with your wallet again. We say give it time! After all, people are busy. It’s not uncommon for wallets to be reunited with their owners after weeks or months.
Getting credit cards replaced is simple and free. Plus, you can’t keep them frozen forever since you’ll need to buy things with them eventually. And, of course, the same goes for canceling your ID.
If days or weeks have passed since you lost your wallet, then it’s time to cut your losses and to move on with life. Call your health insurance company, stores that you have a membership with, and get a new social security card if you lost it that day.
Okay, so you lost your wallet. The best thing you can do is look on the bright side: You get to buy a whole new wallet that’ll be much more stylish, durable, and have many more cool features than the one that you lost.
But you can also look at this as a learning opportunity. Next time, you’ll know what to do so you don’t lose your wallet in the first place.
Here are some of our tips for accomplishing that:
This is probably the most simple way to make sure your wallet never goes missing. A small tracking device such as Apple’s AirTag can be placed into any wallet compartment and tracked with your properly accessorized phone.
If your wallet contains stacks of bills, piles of receipts, and dozens of store cards, you’ll be much more likely to take it out of your pockets. After all, sitting on a thick wallet is extremely uncomfortable.
So, get rid of all the extra stuff you don’t need on a daily basis and stick to carrying around only the essentials like a true minimalist.
Invest in a high-quality leather tether that you can attach to your wallet and wear on your wrist. This will make you much less likely to set your wallet down somewhere and forget all about it.
For some reason, losing a phone is much more difficult than losing a wallet. Plus, it’s much easier to locate a missing phone. Take advantage of this by investing in a wallet that can magnetically snap to your phone, like The Mag.
If you’re going with a phone wallet, make sure to back up the memories contained within your photos. Of all the things you can lose, photos are some of the most painful. Avoid this by storing your photos on a cloud software that can be accessed from any device.
If you carry around wads of cash in your wallet, there’s really no way to cancel or recover it if lost. Ditto for old photos, collectible coins, or anything else that’s valuable to you. Keep your favorite belongings at home where they can’t get lost forever.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be on the receiving end of a lost wallet. Not only do younot have to deal with the pain of losing your own, but you can truly make someone’s day and even save them lots of time and money.
Here’s what to do if you stumble upon a missing wallet:
This can make you feel uncomfortable, but the first thing that you should do is to look through the wallet for any contact information. If you find a business card that matches the name on the ID, then you hit the lottery. All you have to do is call up the person and arrange a pickup for their wallet.
Sometimes, things won’t come that easily. In this case, try to find the person online. Any kind of social media will do the trick. Just send them a message and let them know that you found a wallet that you’d like to return to them.
We get it: Meeting a complete stranger in person is uncomfortable, to say the least. Thankfully, there are options for returning a wallet without ever meeting the person IRL.
The best thing you can do is drop it off at the local police station. Not only is the owner more likely to go looking there, but the police may even have the person’s contact information on file and take care of the drop-off for you.
Another great idea is to return the wallet to the owner’s bank. Just check which bank they have a debit card with for that. Their bank will surely have their phone number and can reach out to them on your behalf.
You might be thinking that mailing the wallet is another option for returning it. While it will certainly get the wallet back to its rightful owner, it is way too slow in most cases. This will cause unnecessary worrying and the cancellation of all kinds of cards. So, try to use the mail as a last resort.
Follow our steps to locating a missing wallet to increase your chances of getting it back. And if you can’t find it, then no stress! Just head over to Andar for your new favorite wallet and follow our advice to help you hang onto what matters most.
Study Shows People Return Lost Wallets More Often Than We Think | USA Today
Researchers Dropped 17,000 Wallets To Test Honesty In Countries Around The World | NPR