It is a terrible feeling. you reach into your wallet and find nothing. Whether your wallet is lost or stolen, you now have no cash, credit cards, IDs, or anything else you keep there.

To make things even more stressful, it can be a short jump from a stolen wallet to a credit card fraud or other form of identity theft. According to a report by the Department of Justice, of the many victims of identity theft who had some idea of ​​how their information was obtained, 20 percent believe it was lost or stolen from a wallet or checkbook.

But you can help minimize the potential for damage when your wallet disappears, says Paige Schaefer, President and CEO of Generali Global Assistance Global Identity & Digital Protection Services. He advises to keep the following strategies in your pocket.

GEICO can help protect identity.

1. Call your credit and debit card companies

Do it right away. Tell them you lost your wallet or it was stolen so they can cancel the card and get a new one. Start with your debit card, as your level of responsibility depends on how quickly you call the incident. In the case of credit cards, if you report a loss before using the card, you will not be liable for any charges that you have not authorized.

2. Create a fraud signal

Thieves can use your data to open new credit card accounts or loans. Raising fraud alert with credit bureaus means that lenders and creditors need to take extra steps to verify your identity. All you need to do is contact one of the three major credit bureaus. they will inform the other two. And check your credit report several times a year for fraud.

3. File a police report

Reporting to the police helps prevent fraud when you lose your wallet. Even if you do not believe the police will find the thief, report it. This creates a paperwork that can be used to challenge creditors, credit bureaus, and insurance companies. Tell the police if you have a spare key in your wallet. (Think about changing the locks on your house.)

4. Change your passwords

Losing your wallet can jeopardize your email. mail, credit card or bank accounts. Choose new, strong passwords to protect your personal information. Be sure to choose և new secret questions և answers.

5. Call the DMV

Report your missing driver’s license to your local DMV. It is illegal to drive without it, or some states may allow you to use your driver’s license as proof of a valid driver’s license. Ask what specific government requirements there are for replacing a license.

Contact your insurance companies

If you’ve lost your wallet, your health insurance card has probably disappeared with it, so let the insurer know about the damage. They may or may not publish a new issue; In any case, periodically check the summary of benefits for fraudulent use. Tell your car insurance company if you have lost your card. However, you can avoid this step by keeping digital proof of your car insurance, which is available in the GEICO Mobile app.

Be proactive

Before your wallet disappears, some active remedies can help prevent a bad situation from getting worse, says Schaefer.

The man walking in the street after losing his wallet

  • Keep your contact details in your wallet. benevolent people who think they can not get your property back if they do not know how to get to you.
  • Keep all the contents in your wallet, including license և credit card numbers (of course, do not keep the information in your wallet).
  • Buy protection against identity theft before any problems arise. This will help control your credit: help you regain your identity if your wallet falls into the wrong hands.

Do it! no Carry the following in your wallet.

  • Your social security card or password list, which can allow fraudsters to quickly compromise your identity.
  • Having more than two credit cards will cost you more if you lose your wallet.
  • Home key, as your address is on your license և can be found online.

It is easy to replace the wallet. Recovering your identity can be much more difficult. Shopping: Protection against identity theft through GEICO insurance agency I can help. Choose the plan that suits you best, whether you are an individual, a couple or a family.

Read more: Follow these warning signs of identity theft.

By Jennifer Jesse