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Work/The Wk Place
people store their cash, driver's licenses, credit cards and deposit slips in
their wallets. Any thief with your
personal financial records is lucky indeed.
A thief who has your social security number, bank card, date of birth and
home address can impersonate you and make off with your life savings.
Your plight may be far worse if your wallet also held security codes or
spare keys to your car or house.
a precaution, make an emergency list of all important items in your wallet
so you know where to call if your wallet is missing.
If you already lost your wallet and didn't make a list, make one now
while your memory of your wallet's contents is still fresh.
Then, do at least the following:
Call the local sheriff's office
as soon as you know about your loss and have them assign you a case number.
Your case number establishes that you made a timely report of the
accident. Having a case number
also safeguards your rights when
dealing with other agencies.
Tell each credit
card agency about the loss and give them your case number.
Have your bank close old checking
and savings accounts and then open
new ones. Get the bank to issue
you some temporary checks until your new checks arrive.
Give the DMV your case number and
they will replace your driver's
license free of charge.
If your social security card was
in your wallet, get a replacement by calling (800) 772-1213.
Close your checking account and
follow step #3 above.
Immediately file a police report
and get copies. You may need to show it to merchants and collectors who think it's
you who passed off the bad checks.
If the store tries to have you
arrested, having the police report with you will
save a lot of embarrassment.
Have the bank stamp any bad checks written on your old account with the words "signature doesn't match."
To prevent someone from forging
your name, make sure the bank reports
your loss to the
six major check verification companies.
Stores throughout the nation depend on these six companies to say whether they should accept or
reject a check. To be
doubly protected, spend the time and call
each of the six companies yourself. Otherwise
you may pay for it later if the wronged merchant or
collection agency comes after you.
National Processing Co. (800)
(800) 710-9898 or (800) 366-2425.
For more ways to protect yourself against identity theft, see Consumer-SOS-Privacy & Identity Theft