Wallets are the keepers of some of our most important and sensitive information: our driver’s license, credit cards and check cards, for instance. But what if your wallet is lost or stolen? Would you be prepared?
Pick-pockets, purse snatchers and other thieves who obtain financial and identification information have the potential to turn their victims’ lives in disarray and cost them a lot of time and money. For instance, thieves can use their victim’s information to obtain credit and make expensive purchases such as a cell phone plan or high-priced electronics. There are ways to prevent your wallet and purse from falling into the wrong hands but it is also important to be prepared in the event your information is lost or stolen.
Here are some tips for safeguarding your information:
- Know what you keep in your wallet. Make a front-and-back photocopy of each credit card, your health insurance card, your driver’s license and anything else you store in your wallet. That way, you will know exactly what was lost and you will have the important account numbers and phone numbers for each item. Be sure to keep the copies in a safe place.
- Once you discover a theft, report it immediately to the police.
- Call all the companies that you have accounts with to notify them of the theft. There is not much a criminal can do with a canceled credit card.
- Call the three national credit reporting agencies and the Social Security Administration and have them place a fraud alert on your name and social security number. By doing this, any company that checks your credit must contact you by phone so you can authorize the new credit. Those phone numbers are:
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Social Security Administration Fraud Line: 1-800-269-0271
Law Enforcement Agencies
If your wallet is stolen, you should report the theft to the Law Enforcement agency in that county or city.
Numbers for the local agencies are listed below:
- Chesterfield County Police: 804-748-1251
- City of Colonial Heights Police: 804-520-9331
- City of Hopewell Police: 804-541-2222
- City of Petersburg Police: 804-732-4222
- City of Richmond Police: 804-644-5100
- Hanover Sheriff’s Office: 804-365-6140
- Henrico County Police: 804-501-5000
- New Kent Sheriff’s Office: 804-966-9500
- Powhatan Sheriff’s Office: 804-598-5656
- Prince George Police: 804-733-2773