What To Do If Your Wallet is Stolen

You should always:

police badge iconFile a Local Police Report
Include a list of everything that was in your wallet, and make sure you get a copy of the report. This will be useful in resolving any related fraud.

siren iconPlace a Fraud Alert with Credit Bureaus
Experian, Equifax and TransUnion offer consumers the opportunity to place 90-day fraud alerts on their credit files. These signal creditors to verify a person’s identity before authorizing a new credit account in his or her name. If you place a fraud alert with one credit bureau, it will automatically be shared with the other two.

phone iconContact numbers
Equifax (800) 525-6285 | Experian (888) 397-3742 | Trans Union: (800) 680-7289

credit report iconGet your free Credit Report
If you’re not doing so already, get a free credit report every four months from one of the three credit bureaus. To obtain your credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.

Click to see what to do if your wallet contains…


passport credit cards social security card driver's license checks green card insurance cards membership cards

credit card icon

Credit and/or Debit Cards:

Cancel all cards immediately. The sooner you do this, the better. While Visa and MasterCard offer zero-liability policies (with some stipulations) for unauthorized debit and credit card transactions, federal law allows debit card liability up to $500 if you inform your bank of a theft within two days; wait more than 60 days and you could potentially face unlimited liability. For credit cards, a maximum liability of $50 is possible if you incur charges before reporting the card missing.

Tip: Keep a list of relevant bank and credit card phone numbers to quickly contact them if you need.

Tip: Limit the number of cards you keep in your wallet. Only carry what you need to use.

Related Article: Senator Durbin Blasts Chase CEO on Debit Swipe Fees

Back to top top arrow icon

social security card icon

Your Social Security Number:

Consider a Credit Freeze. A credit freeze offers stronger protection against new account fraud than a fraud alert. It prohibits creditors from accessing your credit reports or score, effectively thwarting most (but not all) attempts to open new credit in your name. Keep in mind, a freeze will prevent you from being able to obtain instant credit, and it remains in effect until you choose to “thaw” your credit file. See the Identity Theft Resource Center’s map explaining credit freeze policies, as they vary from state-to-state.

Contact numbers
Equifax (800) 525-6285 | Experian (888) 397-3742 | Trans Union: (800) 680-7289

Tip: Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet.

Tip: Don’t carry your Medicare card in your wallet unless you are going to a medical appointment.

Related Article: Playstation Invasion: Child Identity Theft is No Game

Back to top top arrow icon

checks icon


Contact your bank immediately. Close your checking
account, any connected accounts, and request a stop payment on all
stolen check numbers. Open a new account with a new number. Once you
contact your bank directly, state your case and requests in writing.
Check fraud can be especially complicated. Refer to this Identity Theft
Resource Center Fact Sheet
for additional information.

Related Article: Time for a CARD Act for Checking Accounts?

Back to top top arrow icon

driver's license icon

Your Driver’s License:

File a Local Police Report. In many states, a police report must be
filed when a license is lost or stolen. Check out the DMV’s Guide to
Replacing a Lost License
to see your state’s requirements. Some states
offer fraud alerts that can be placed on driver’s licenses. In cases
where law enforcement pulls over somebody trying to pass as you, the
officers will require additional forms of identification.

Related Article: A Look Back at Identity Theft Trends

Back to top top arrow icon

green card icon

Your Green Card:

Contact USCIS. Visit this U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
web page for assistance on how to replace it. If you’ve lost
your green card outside of the U.S., first contact the nearest U.S.
consulate, USCIS office, or port of entry.

Related Article: What Do Data Breaches, Globalization and Unprotected Sex Have in Common?

Back to top top arrow icon

passport icon


Notify U.S. State Department. Contact the State Department immediately
at 1-877-487-2778. You’ll also want to fill out a Form DS-64. For
passports lost outside of the United States, click here. If your
passport was issued outside of the United States, notify the issuing
country’s embassy.

Related Article: Where’s Your Deed and Other Vital Papers?

Back to top top arrow icon

insurance cards icon

Health Insurance Card or Auto Insurance:

Contact your insurance carriers. Ask for a replacement policy number.
This can protect you against unauthorized claims being filed on your
account. the issuing country’s embassy.

Related Article: Where’s Your Deed and Other Vital Papers?

Back to top top arrow icon

membership cards icon

Library, Video Store, and Other Membership Cards:

Contact the issuer. Ask for a replacement policy number. Consider a new password, where applicable.

Related Article: Man Keeps Library Book 76 years. Fine? $0

Back to top top arrow icon

For more information, see the Identity Theft Resource Center’s Fact Sheet on Stolen Wallets, Purses and PDAs.

Drivers License image courtesy of Don Hankins, via Flickr

This image originally appeared on Credit.com.

Leave a Reply