Stolen or lost, your wallet had stuff in it that you actually wanted to keep. Here are a few suggestions for dealing with a nasty situation.
1. File a police report if you think theft was or even might have been involved. This gives you protection against charges on your card account.
2. Pull out the photocopy of your cards (see *) and other wallet contents and start phoning or going online. Ask if there have been any recent charges, verify they are yours, and request card replacements and ask when you can expect the new cards.
3. Be glad that during the days that you have no valid credit cards, you had kept one card safe in the house that you can still use. Also be glad that you do not carry your social security card with you. Also be glad that you have put a credit freeze on your credit bureau accounts.
4. Contact each of the three credit bureaus and request a fraud alert on your accounts.
Good ol’ belt and suspenders practices – annual checking of credit bureau records, placement of a freeze, request for fraud alert.
* Get thee to a copier with your wallet. Take out your credit cards, driver’s license, gas card, medical cards, etc., and put them on the copier face side down. You can get 8 cards on one sheet of paper. Make a copy, then carefully turn the cards over to copy the back, making sure the cards are in the same position as the first time. Now you have a record of your card number and how to call to put a stop on transactions and request a new card.
And remember THE credit report site – annualcreditreport.com
Safely, Jean O’Neil, TRIAD committee member 413-268-2228, firstname.lastname@example.org