11 Things to do BEFORE and AFTER you lose your wallet
Some things you don't miss until they're gone. Remembering what you've lost can sometimes be the hard part. Take the following steps today so in the event your wallet is lost or stolen, you can spring into action immediately and make a quick recovery.
1. Remove your Social Security card from your wallet, memorize the number if you haven't already done so, and store in a safe place at home like a strong box or store in a bank safe deposit box.
2. Remove everything remaining in your wallet and make photocopies of the front and back of each item important to your financial life. Put a date on this copy and store in your home file where you can easily retrieve it if/when you need it.
3. Note on your calendar to perform the same procedure a year from now.
ACTION steps to take in the event your wallet is missing:
1. Plan to immediately cancel all your credit and debit cards when your wallet is lost or stolen and request new cards as well as new account numbers.
2. Report your missing wallet to the police to create an official record of the incident in the event that it was stolen.
3. Report missing driver's license to your state's department of motor vehicles and request a new one.
4. Alert the fraud departments of the three major credit reporting companies. They will place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number, and you can request that they alert you before opening a line of credit in your name. (Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742; Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289)
5. Wait about a month and then check your credit history with all three credit bureaus www.annualcreditreport.com to check for possible identity theft.
6. Request a replacement Social Security card (If you failed to follow step 1 above) and avoid carrying it in your wallet in the future.
7. Replace your health insurance cards by either contacting your employer's HR department or the health insurance company. Contact the Social Security Administration to replace your lost Medicare card.
8. Contact any other companies whose cards you may have lost. Refer to your master copy that you photocopied and stored at home to easily remember what you lost and who to notify.
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