A lost wallet can be a terrible inconvenience, but if it happens you should know what defensive measures to take. You need to get organized, contact creditors, replace essential credit cards, and take steps to protect your identity. If you act quickly and utilize the appropriate credit repair tools you can minimize the inconvenience and eliminate the possibility of identity theft.
Get organized. Make a list of everything that was in your wallet. Contact your credit card issuers to inform them of the loss. Then start the process of replacing important items, like your driver’s license, Social Security card, and insurance cards. Once you have completed these steps it is time to consider measures to protect your identity.
If you lose your wallet you should place a fraud alert on your credit report. This is a quick credit repair tool and provides protection against unauthorized use of your identity. A fraud alert inserts a message on your credit report asking prospective creditors to contact you before extending credit. You only need to contact one bureau as they are each required to notify the other two. Fraud alerts last ninety days, but can be cancelled anytime. After ninety days you may place an extended alert on your report that will last for seven years if you feel the need.
If you have reason to believe that your identity is in the hands of someone who definitely has malicious intent, you may consider taking the more dramatic step of implementing a credit freeze. Once this powerful credit repair measure is in effect potential creditors will not be able to view your credit. Existing creditors with contractual rights to review your credit will still have access, but you will have effectively shut down your credit. Credit freeze laws vary from state to state. If you are in our credit repair program we will provide guidance.
If after taking all of the appropriate steps you are still concerned with the possibility of fraud you should consider credit monitoring. Credit monitoring programs are available from the credit bureaus as well as many independent companies, usually for a small monthly fee. Once you are enrolled you will receive notification of changes in your credit, including credit inquiries and the opening of new accounts. If you are in our credit repair program and have concerns about identity theft, please contact us.