If this has ever happened to you then you know first hand how traumatic the loss can be. The loss of cash. No credit cards. I can’t make debit card purchases. Not my driver’s license! Oh no, and the social security card?? Not my child’s baby pictures??? My paycheck? And the list goes on and on. Think for a minute what you think is in your wallet. Here one minute, gone the next.
I know first hand as I’ve been carjacked and lost my wallet and recently a family member had her wallet fall into criminal hands.
There are also some simple, valuable, yet simple preventative steps that you can take to minimize the trauma BEFORE tragedy strikes. Let’s review five of them.
- DO NOT carry your social security card with you. When I address groups in my identity theft presentations, I always ask them why they carry their social security card and rarely do I ever receive a legitimate response.
- For that matter, remove any documents in your wallet that contain your social security number. Insurance companies have moved away from using your social security number as your personal identifier as have most schools and libraries.
- Make a copy (front and back) of all of the documents in your wallet. This way you will know exactly what you lost as well as a have a quick reference on who to call to immediately cancel the cards.
- Carry only the documents that you need that day. (Easier for men, I know.) But do you really need to carry ALL of your credit cards with you? Of course not. The more cards you carry, the more of a risk you are.
- Never place bank/investment account, computer, security or alarm passwords on a sheet of paper in your wallet. You’d be amazed how many people do this only to regret it later.
If you follow these five steps, and should you ever lose your wallet, I guarantee you that your nightmare will be less stressful and you will be able to react immediately and at the same time mitigate any personal financial loss.
Have additional questions about strengthening the financial security of your organization or protecting against identity theft? Post a comment below or contact our Valuation & Litigation Advisory Services Group at 440-449-6800.