Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stolen Wallet - Prevent ID Theft

On Monday I "lost" my wallet. I really don't have any idea how - I might have been pick-pocketed, I might have dropped it, left it somewhere, who knows....

Anyway, it fell into the WRONG hands and I have been dealing with it ever since. (Side note: F-U Mr. Chevron, Esso, Rogers Thief!!)

I have learnt a TON in dealing with this and I have decided to share it with my readers. 


This post is long and detailed but it will save you a lot of time, annoyance and maybe some money if you ever lose or have your wallet stolen.  You won't have to be looking up 15 phone numbers, digging out old bills, trying to figure out what to do first, forgetting things and pulling your hair out.  FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!

You only need the first section right now - the rest if you lose or have your wallet stolen.  


THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW or ASAP (i.e. before you lose your wallet)

1. Click HERE and bookmark this post. Change the title of the bookmark to: STOLEN WALLET!! so you don't lose it or forget where to find it.

2. Get your wallet AND your wife's, husband's, son's, daughter's (it won't take much longer to do this for everyone in your household.)

3. Open up a WORD document on your computer.  Grab a drink and put on some music...  

4. Make a list of ALL of the cards you keep in your wallet (include bank, credit, gym, library, costco, whatever.... because you won't remember them all when it is gone).

5. Don't keep your Social Insurance Card in your wallet.

6. For each card write down: Acct. # and the phone number on the back.  You can photocopy the cards (front and back) as well if you prefer (make sure it is all legible).

7. Make another list of ALL pre-authorized payments and which card they are associated with.

8. On the list of pre-authorized payments include your acct# and the phone # for each of those companies.

9. Look up the number for your local police department. Write it down.

10. Write down the numbers of the credit bureau's - TransUnion (1-800-663-9980) and Equifax (1-866-204-9044).

11. Write down the number for Phonebusters (1-888-495-8501).

12. Write down the number for Social Insurance - (1-800-206-7218) or www.sdc.gc.ca

13. Take a moment to go onto your bank/credit card website and investigate anti-fraud features. Some are pretty awesome and free to sign up - they will alert you by email if something odd occurs with your cards.  Sign up.

14. Save a copy of the document to a CDRom and put it somewhere safe. Print a copy and put it somewhere safe. Maybe even give a copy to a trusted relative that you could call if you were out of town.

15. DELETE document from your hard drive.


I know that sounds like a lot of work but imagine how much more annoying it is to do it when you have lost your wallet and don't have the cards, can't remember what was there, and haven't set aside time for it. Actually you don't have to imagine - you can take my word for it - IT SUCKS A LOT!!!!!

Now imagine if it happened and you were on holiday........... How much beach time, foreign language stress, and long distance charges did I just save you?


THINGS TO DO ONCE YOUR WALLET IS MISSING

1. Search until you are certain you have lost the wallet. Max. 1 day (my opinion).

2. Call the credit card companies first.

3. If the cards have been used fraudulently cancel them, if not put them on hold and search for 1 more day MAXIMUM.


ONCE YOU HAVE DETERMINED FRAUDULENT USE

1.  If you just didn't find the wallet and there was no fraud you can skip some parts of this but not many - maybe #3, 4 and #9.

2. Call the credit card companies - cancel cards, reorder. Ask for courier service. Get as much info as they can give you regarding the fraudulent uses - amounts, stores, locations, time.... don't expect full info but ask anyway.

3. Call the local Police Department - report the wallet stolen - get a FILE #, Investigating Officer's name and badge number. The officer should take all the information you have and begin to "investigate".

4. Call the Credit Card companies again and give them the file #, officer's name etc, ask them to put it on your file.

5. Call your bank and cancel/reorder bank cards - ensure they have not been used - (unlikely since thief would need your pin).

6. Call Banks and all other companies/organizations and cancel cards/reorder and ensure no fraud has taken place.

7. Call Equifax and TransUnion. Inform them that your wallet was stolen - they will put fraud notes on your file and can set up your file to email you if anything changes on your file. This will alert you immediately if the thief applies for a credit card or some other type of credit. It also sets you up better if you need to have something removed from your credit report at a later date due to fraud.

8. Call Phonebusters - They are the "Anti-Fraud Phone Centre" they are linked with the RCMP and they will take pertinent information and advise you of important things to do.

9. Call Government agencies to report stolen and replace cards - Driver's License, Care Card, Social Insurance Card.

10. Ask your wife, friend, mom, dad for some money so you can buy a new wallet.... hahaha.... actually your bank should hook you up with a temporary card if you need funds ASAP.


10 DAYS to TWO WEEKS LATER

1. You hopefully have all or most of your new cards in your shiny new wallet.

2. Call Credit Card companies again - ensure that no other charges appeared and follow-up on having the original fraudulent charges removed.  All major credit cards will remove fraudulent charges (in my experience).

3. Call the list of pre-authorized companies and give them the updated credit card information.  Tell them the previous card was stolen.

4. Go back to the start of this post and follow the instructions to record all the new information so you are ready if it happens again.


TWO MONTHS LATER

1. Go to TransUnion and Equifax online and request DETAILED credit reports (emphasis on detailed). Make sure all is good and the only marks on your credit were made by you. You can get ONE free report every year.

EVERY SIX MONTHS

1.  Update the document on your computer for any new cards you may be carrying.

ANNUALLY

1. Get a free report from TransUnion and Equifax every year and check up on your credit.  This is a good idea whether or not you lose your wallet, but is imperative if your wallet has been stolen.


I sincerely hope you never have a wallet stolen...  but if you do you will be ready, and know what to do!  It is a good feeling to be organized like this - I can only imagine how much less trauma I will go through if this happens again.

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6 comments:

Gotta Run said...

My word... my head is spinning!! THANKS for the priceless information. I only hate that this happened to you....really!!

Ulyana said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you! I hope it all works out.

I had credit card statements stolen from my mailbox, and the only reason the fraudulent charges didn't go through was because, coincidentally, at the same time the statements were stolen, I - not suspecting anything - changed my address (and the zip code) because I wanted to get my rewards check at a different address. I completely lucked out. There were numerous attemps running my credit card info, thousands and thousands of dollars, but it didn't go through b/c of the 5-digit zip code. It still froze all my bank cards.

So, now, I'm on paperless statements.

I bank with CHASE and their fraud center was excellent.

GOOD LUCK! Again, I'm sorry to hear about what hhapened!

Isabelle Julien said...

thank you for the great tips Meyrick! Sorry you had your wallet stolen.

Peter Jones said...

An easy way to capture all your card info is to scan them, front and back, into a document, and send the document to yourself by email (so you can retrieve it there if you need to), email it to your trusted relative/power of attorney/lawyer, and copy it to a memory stick(s) for safekeeping. Sounds like yer havin’ fun!

Marcy said...

Wow! OMG that stinks, I can only IMAGINE what a PITA this had been. But thank you for the tips.

Jerold W. said...

Very useful. best tips I've seen on this - thank you!