What To Do Before Your Purse Or Wallet Is Stolen

No, I'm not saying that you're walking around town with a steal me sign on your handbag, purse or wallet but this type of theft is a common crime, not just in the United States, but worldwide. Also, you may lose your wallet on your own, like I did a few years ago, only to get a call from a police officer a couple days later who told me that a criminal had found it and was driving around with my wallet in his car. Due to that lucky traffic stop, I did not become a victim of identity theft, but millions of Americans are not so lucky so it's best to be prepared.

If your wallet has already been stolen please see the signature at the bottom of the article to learn what to do when your wallet is stolen. Here is some advice that can help before you lose your purse or wallet.

Make a copy of all of your credit cards and IDs, front and back. This will make it easier for you to replace any cards that are in your wallet when it is stolen or lost. Once you have made the copies, you will have each cards number and expiration date. And usually the number you need to call to report it lost or stolen is right on the back of the card, so you will have that too at your fingertips. Obviously, leave the copies at home. Do not carry them in your wallet, or that will have been a complete waste of your time.

Keep credit cards that you don't use often at home. Unless you are headed out to make a purchase with that emergency credit card, there's no need to take it with you. Instead, leave it behind in a safe place. That way it will still be available in case of the emergency of you having your wallet lost or stolen.

Never carry your Social Security card in you wallet or purse. Your Social Security number is the Holy Grail for identity thieves. With this number, they can not only access your accounts, but they can actually you, by using the number to obtain new credit. So imagine what the thieves can do with your credit cards, your driver's license and your Social Security number. Do not give them that opportunity.

Keep passwords and personal identification numbers to yourself. Don't tell this private information to others, unless absolutely necessary, and never write a password down on the card for the account it applies to, or anywhere else for that matter. Yes, you will have to take the time to memorize them, but it is for your own protection.

Consider an insurance policy. No, there is no insurance available that will replace your entire wallet for you, but many identity theft insurance plans come pretty close. For example LifeLock's WalletLock service will work to get all of your wallet's contents replaced, excluding the cash and family photos of course, with little effort required on your end.

And these identity theft insurance services can help to keep your personal information secure even if it falls, or is taken, into the wrong hands by putting a variety of safeguards on your accounts.

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