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Lost or Stolen Wallet? 5 Steps to Protecting Yourself

At Allett, we strive to create thin wallets that are perfect for back pockets or purses. Because of their thin construction, they are often overlooked by thieves. They simply want an easy target, making a bulging wallet a more obvious choice than our thin wallet selections. However, if your wallet does end up stolen or lost, there are several ways to protect yourself before and after the event.

1. Get an Identity Protection Plan

If you are prone to losing your wallet, it is a good idea to purchase an identity protection plan before tragedy strikes. These plans monitor your activity by looking for your typical spending habits. When an unusual charge occurs, such as a several-hundred-dollar charge at a store you didn’t go to, the fraud department is immediately alerted. You are typically not at fault for these charges. Most protection programs return the money lost in your account balance in a timely manner. Select a plan carefully such as one offered by your bank or credit card.

2. Don't Carry Everything

When you open your wallet, there should not be receipts or old membership cards from three years ago. Take a moment to clean out your wallet. You only want to carry your essentials such as your ID and everyday credit or debit card. There is no need to carry social security cards or birth certificates at all. If your wallet is stolen, thieves could potentially have all of your information and take all of your assets. Keep these thieves in the dark by not carrying this information. Keeping less items in your wallet makes it easier for you to organize and harder for thieves to decipher your identity and personal information

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3. File a Police Report

You may be frustrated or even embarrassed about a lost wallet but, you need to report it to the police. They can send out a region-wide notification about your cards or identity. If thieves try to impersonate you, they may be caught easily by casting a wider net with the help of law enforcement. In fact, there could be a rash of stolen wallets in the area that make your report a helpful clue in finding the perpetrators. Include as much detail about your wallet as possible such as detailed marks or colors on the wallet's exterior.

4. Set "Fraud Alert"

For the next few weeks, you want to live on cash only. You need to set all of your checking, savings and credit cards to "fraud alert" with each individual banking institution. During this alert period, your banks need to set up new accounts and numbers, along with corresponding cards. You will be effectively reduced to cash transactions until you receive your new cards and accounts. Be patient during this time. It is better that you set this "fraud alert" to avoid any withdrawals from your accounts. Thieves can take thousands of dollars in mere seconds.

5. Keep a List

To avoid forgetting any cards in your wallet, make a list of all your cards' names and numbers. Keep the list hidden at home. If you ever have a wallet lost or stolen, you simply refer to your list to call all your creditors and banks for notification. This list should be updated constantly, when you add new accounts. However, it is still best to keep most cards and information at home, not in your wallet.

Keep your wallet safe as you venture outside. Stay aware of your surroundings and keep most of your personal information at home. Protect yourself from monetary loss and identity theft by following these basic strategies.

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