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March 07, 2023 5 min read
In the best-case scenario, a lost wallet is a small hassle while you hunt for where you left it. In the worst-case scenario, the wallet is truly lost or even stolen. In the wrong hands, the amount of personal information held in our wallets can create a maelstrom of problems.
In a critical situation like this, the worst thing that you can do is panic. Because of this, Andar has collected below eight simple steps to rectify all lost wallet issues.
Recall the last place you had your wallet. This lets you know where to look, whether that be at home, at work, or at a restaurant. If your wallet is misplaced and not lost, this can help you find them without replacing anything.
If retracing your steps doesn’t work, you may have to proceed as if your wallet is truly stolen. We hope that isn’t the case, but if it is, then it is time to begin preventative measures.
Many companies sell wallet trackers: Small objects used to track missing or stolen wallets. This can help locate wallets when lost at home. Google Maps can even help you on your path to finding your last path.
The second step is to identify everything in your wallet. This way, you know what information has been compromised. You’ll also be able to tell what items you’ll need to replace. These include driver’s licenses, insurance cards, debit cards, credit cards, and more, to begin with.
Knowing what you’ve lost also tells you who to contact. For example, if you lose your health insurance card, you’ll want to contact health insurance companies to prevent medical fraud.
Some items are less easily replaced. The Social Security Administration normally only provides a total of ten social security cards in a lifetime. Even if that limit is exceeded, exceptions can be made for exceptional circumstances.
The first step you should perform when contacting companies is reaching out to financial institutions. You should immediately contact your checkbook and credit card issuers to prevent fraud. Contacting your bank can put a hold on your bank account and, in some cases, possibly even get a new account number.
In addition to credit card companies, call the major credit bureaus. Equifax, Transunion, and Experian can all place a credit freeze if needed to protect your security. Being protective can be better for your credit report than needing to do damage control later on.
Your card loss reports won’t just provide you with a new credit card or debit card. It also reduces the amount you are fiscally responsible for under Federal Trade Commission guidelines. The amount you are responsible for depends on whether your card or account was compromised, and how quickly it’s reported.
It may take a few business days for your new card and credit card accounts to be sorted out. However, you’ll be able to feel comfortable knowing that everything is secured.
The next step is to get a new driver’s license. If lost, be aware that compromising information like address and DOB are located on it. If you’ve also lost auto insurance information, there may be further information at risk.
Getting a new license varies depending on the state. In all situations, you’ll need to start by contacting your department of motor vehicles. In most states, you’ll need to make an appointment and have your last name, SSN, birth certificate, and more. Thankfully, this is all information that should be memorized, and not always require external documentation.
Depending on how frequently you drive, this may be an immediately pressing or less important issue. It’s still essential, as our license is one of our most frequently used IDs.
Identity theft happens every 22 seconds. If you have reason to believe your wallet wasn’t just lost but outright stolen, make this step priority one. Start by filing a police report and then contact affiliated financial institutions.
Identity theft protection services can also be purchased in advance for a small monthly cost. These can include credit monitoring for unusual behavior and specialized antivirus software to prevent data theft. This is a slightly pricey but highly effective way to prevent identity fraud.
Also, set up fraud alerts with all banks. These can easily help you identify fraudulent charges, especially when your identity thief is in a different state or country. Several of these even have mobile apps, making it all the easier to track the status of yourself.
The second-to-last step in this process is getting a backup copy of all other critical documents. These are your library cards, rewards cards, and random items that are nice to have, but aren’t essentials. When you reach this stage of recovery, you can feel comfortable knowing you’ve done all you can to protect yourself.
Banks, lenders, and insurance companies are usually understanding when it comes to issues of theft. It is a fiscally and psychologically stressful situation, which is why so many protective safeguards are in place to ensure a comfortable transition.
When you lose your wallet, there may come a time when you don’t find it. If that’s the case, there’s nothing to do but go on the hunt for a new one.
It’s never good to be in need of a new wallet. However, good can still come from the hunt for a new one: You can reinvigorate your style, and improve the way you store your personal effects.
There are numerous styles of wallets you can choose from. There’s the classic-looking black bifold, or you can engage with a more modern-looking money clip. Full-grain leather designs age beautifully and develop a natural patina over time.
At Andar, we have a wide range of leather wallets, from updated classic designs to forward-thinking new creations. All these feature one trait in common: They are designed for longevity and top-notch looks that only improve over time.
When you get a new wallet, it shouldn’t just be one you like. It should be one you’ll love for a long time to come.
If you get a new wallet, take some steps to keep your personal details secure. Firstly, when it comes to personal information, keep essential cards in your wallet. Your driver’s license and bank cards, then whatever essentials you need for a given day. Consider a wallet tracker, which can help ensure your wallet is easily found if it becomes lost.
There are other ways to help track your wallet's movement. When you buy your new wallet, leave a piece of paper with your phone number in it. If it becomes lost, this contact information becomes an easy way to locate you.
Some things we carry with us every single day. There are tons of items that fit this description. Aside from possibly our cell phones and keys, the number 1 slot of everyday items belongs to our wallets.
This makes losing your wallet extremely stressful. However, with the above, the stress of losing your wallet is manageable. With a simple checklist of tasks, never worry about losing your wallet again.
Code of Federal Regulations § 422.103 I Social Security Administration
Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards | FTC Consumer Advice
2023 Identity Theft Facts and Statistics I National Council on Identity Theft Protection
You can now virtually retrace your every step through Google Maps' Your Timeline | Time Out