What you need to know and how to prepare
A lost or stolen wallet is no picnic. It can be a stressful and scary situation, and it can happen anywhere. A criminal with your wallet can treat himself not only to your cash but to the contents of your life.
Should this potentially grim situation happen to you, it is best to know what to do in advance. Taking the appropriate steps as quickly as possible can help prevent identity theft and unfortunate financial consequences. Any inconvenience and lost cash in your wallet are a small price to pay for what could potentially be a far worse scenario.
What to do if your wallet is lost:
- If you suspect that your wallet has been stolen, contact the police, file a report with any pertinent information, and keep a copy of the report for your records.
- Alert UCCU if your debit card or checks were stolen. Close any affected checking or savings accounts. Ask your bank for a new debit card and new checking accounts, if needed. If you had your safety deposit box information in your wallet, let us know.
- Contact your credit card issuers and ask for credit card account number changes and replacement cards. It is not a wise idea to cancel your credit cards, because that can negatively impact your credit score. Most financial institutions are prepared to handle this type of situation and are ready to help you.
- Contact the three major credit reporting agencies – Transunion.com, Equifax.com, Experian.com – and have a fraud alert placed on your account. Once this is done, creditors will need to verify your identity before approving any credit.
- Order and review copies of your credit reports.
- Contact your state’s motor vehicle department to report a missing driver’s license and to request a replacement.
- Contact your health insurance provider if your wallet contained your health insurance card.
- Get a replacement library card and membership cards, or student or daycare ID cards.
Future prevention tips:
- Photocopy all items in your wallet or make a detailed list. You can also scan and save the information on your computer.
- Keep only essential items in your wallet. If you have multiple credit cards, consider carrying only one or two and storing the rest in a safe place.
- Do not carry too much cash.
- Never keep your Social Security card or number in your wallet.
- Do not carry account numbers or passwords.
- Keep your financial and personal information easily accessible and in a secure place in your home, such as a locked fireproof box.
Wallets are stolen every day. Being prepared for the possibility can help ease the situation, should it happen to you. If a criminal ever swipes your wallet, you can save time and money by following these tips. If this were to happen to you contact us at (801) 223-UCCU (8228). We will do our very best to help you make sure you are protected.