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What To Do if Your Wallet Is Missing

Often 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.

  1.  As 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:

  2. 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.

  3. Tell each credit card agency about the loss and give them your case number. 

  4. 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.

  5. Give the DMV your case number and they will replace your  driver's license free of charge.

  6. If your social security card was in your wallet, get a replacement by calling (800) 772-1213.

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What To Do If Your Check Book Is Missing

  • 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.

The Six Major Check Verification Companies

Chexsystems                 (800) 428-9623

Equifax                         (800) 437-5120

National Processing Co.  (800) 526-5380

Telecheck                     (800) 710-9898 or (800) 366-2425.   

Scan                            (800) 262-7771

CheckRite                     (800) 766-2748

For more ways to protect yourself against identity theft, see Consumer-SOS-Privacy & Identity Theft

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