Ever tried to reach your wallet to pay for stuff only to find it missing?
Many people confess to losing their wallets and money, sending them into full panic mode. The apparent desperation and hopelessness might be because your wallet holds many vital things, including your ID, driver's license, money, and debit and credit cards.
While losing your wallet might not be a matter of life and death, acting as swiftly as possible is essential to avoid identity theft, fraud, and scams. Remember, it is not an enormously big deal if it's only money in your wallet. You can always earn more money. It's a serious matter when your essential documents fall into the wrong hands.
This article explores immediate actions to take once you notice you have lost or misplaced your wallet.
A wallet containing debits and credit cards is a goldmine for thieves. And it only takes a little time for seasoned ones to hack them, causing financial damage. You have to act fast to beat them to their game. If you are using the mobile app, then quickly hit the lock option. You can easily unlock your card if you recover your wallet.
Read Also: What to Do When You Lose Your Credit Card
Alerting your bank should be your next point of action, enabling them to place a temporary freeze on your debit card for a couple of days. The assumption is that you would have found your wallet within those few days, and they can unfreeze it.
Freezing your card prevents anyone from accessing your account. It also prevents identity theft; no one can open an account using your confidential information. Remember to inform the bank if any valid checks or transactions are pending.
Panic is almost the first sensation you feel once you discover your wallet missing. Yet, those frantic moves might cost you the time and energy you would have used to recollect your steps.
A calm mind is what you need to think about where you might have left your wallet.
Breathe in and feel the last place you had it. Some minor detective work might include calling the few places you were last at to see if they can locate it.
Check every corner of your house, and ask each occupant if they have seen it. Even if it's gone, the initial steps you took might still render a thief's effort useless. Most of the items in it are locked or frozen.
Thieves know how to obtain your information for loans. So place a temporary fraud alert to stop anyone from using your details to apply for credit. A fraud alert informs your creditors that your details are out there and that you might be a victim of fraudsters. They then ensure no one applies for loans/credit using your personal information.
Filing a police report is essential if you suspect your wallet was stolen. The number in the occurrence book (OB no) is proof enough of your lost wallet and documents. It can be easy to track and recover your wallet. However, it also protects you against identity theft issues if someone uses your details to fraudulently open accounts or sim cards.
Losing your wallet might compromise the security of many accounts, including emails and debit cards. Any information leakage in your email can have a trickle-down effect, with fraudsters digging through to find passwords for your other accounts. The prudent thing to do at this point is to change all passwords. Change your Mpesa PIN, Airtel Money PIN, and other security-based accounts on all digital platforms, including social media.
Were your health and motor insurance cards in your lost wallet? Fraud surrounding all types of insurance makes anyone nervous and tense with worry. Criminals can cause an error on your medical insurance cards or incur expensive medical bills on your behalf. The immediate step is to inform your insurance provider about the loss. They’ll immediately stop suspicious transactions until you provide a full go-ahead.
Your home is your haven, and you do not want thieves accessing it because they have your lost wallet with keys. Once you realize your keys are gone, you immediately need a locksmith who will quickly change the locks. Also, call your car dealer to get you a change of car key, to prevent illegal access to your car.
What do you do if the wallet doesn't turn up in a couple of days? It's time to update all your autopayments and replace your credit and debit cards. Your bank will permanently cancel your lost cards and provide new ones. You can visit your nearest bank branch with your full details to quickly get a new card.
Be cautious, though, and watch out for the next few months to see if any fraudsters are using your sensitive personal details.
There is a high chance that your wallet also had essential documents such as your identity card passport, and driver's license. Please do not wait to replace them, as they are necessary for daily undertakings. You can quickly get interim IDs on the spot.
You might have been a victim of a lost wallet this time, but you can prevent it from happening again. To prevent a similar future scenario:
Getting over a lost personal item, such as a wallet, is never easy. It becomes considerably more complex if the wallet contains sensitive and confidential documents. You may attempt desperately try to find it, but this will just add to your worry.
Instead, relax and focus. You may recall where you left it. However, if it is stolen, it is a lost cause. So, employ the strategies listed above to safeguard yourself and your sensitive information.