Your wallet isn’t just a convenient place to store money and your driver’s license. It can also be filled with credit cards, debit cards, family photos, and other important information. Before you lose your wallet and face the difficulty of replacing the items, you may want to take these steps.
Take a proactive approach to protecting your wallet:
1. Make a list of everything in your wallet. By creating a list, it will be easier to replace the missing items if something happens to your wallet. It’s important to write down everything, even the pet photos, so you’ll know what you might want to replace later. Consider making more than one copy of the list. Keep a version in a safe deposit box. The list will need to be easily accessed, so keeping an extra copy at home will help you too.
2. Write down account numbers and phone numbers. Credit cards and debit cards often have toll free phone numbers on the back that can help you. But if these numbers are in your missing wallet, they aren’t much help. By writing down the phone numbers and account numbers, it will be much easier and quicker to prevent fraudulent charges and order replacement cards. Even better, make copies of all of your cards. If you have access to a copy machine, you may want to make copies of all of the cards in your wallet.
3. Never keep your Social Security card in your wallet. It’s safer to leave your Social Security card at home. Thieves can use this information to steal your identity and wreak havoc with your financial life for a long time. Unless you’re going to a meeting or appointment that requires you to bring a Social Security card, it’s not necessary to carry it in your wallet. You can leave it in a safe place and have one less thing to worry about. You also want to avoid putting your Social Security number on cards such as driver’s licenses. If you have the option to opt out of sharing your number, take it. By reducing the amount of personal information you carry in your wallet, you’ll make it more difficult for thieves to steal your identity.
4. Make copies of your pictures. The pictures in your wallet can be just as valuable as the cards and money. The memories and messages they represent are difficult to replace.
5. Avoid attaching your keys to your wallet. Keep your keys separate from your wallet. If one gets lost, at least the other one will be safe. This will make replacing everything a simpler process.
6. Keep your PIN numbers and passwords out of your wallet. From your email account to your social media profiles, you have multiple passwords to remember. Although it’s not easy to memorize or keep track of all of the passwords you need, you don’t want to carry them in your wallet. Keep them in a separate, safe place. If your wallet disappears, and your PIN numbers or passwords are in there, thieves will have easy access to your accounts. Also, by leaving your PIN number within easy access to thieves, your bank might not even cover the fraudulent charges that were made with PIN numbers. You may not be able to stop every instance of your wallet getting lost or stolen. However, you can be prepared for the possibility and take steps to reduce the negative impact if it happens.
7. Always remember to PROTECT YOURSELF!
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