When you are traveling alone and far away from home, losing a wallet could be extremely stressful and costly for you. We carry our money, credit cards and identity proof in the wallet so apart from loosing money the biggest fear is of becoming the victim of identity theft which could be disastrous and could have effects for years.
You can make the situation easier if you are already prepared and know what to do in such emergency. Here we have a few steps to help you keep your precious items safe and report easily if they are lost or stolen, let's have a look.
Confirm and report to the Local Authorities
First of all make sure that it's lost or stolen and not misplaced. Before reporting to the local police station to check all the places you have been recently such as stores and restaurants, check your room properly as it can fall out of my pocket while sitting on the sofa or talking over the phone.
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If you don't find it anywhere, then file a police report immediately which will help you to fly home without your documents, claiming travel insurance and avoid misuse of your personal information.
If you are in a foreign country, then you may experience language barriers which could be a bit frustrating. There is also a possibility that local authorities may not show much interest in your case. Proactively give the description of your wallet and inform them about the amount you've lost and other accessories. Once you are finished, get a copy of your report, which would be your first evidence and help you a lot in case of identity theft or fraud.
Inform the creditor
It is advisable to keep an online copy of your ID proof and important documents such as passport, driving license and medical insurance card. Use application like Skype and Google Voice to make a low cost or free phone call and inform your creditor about your loss so that they can put a freeze on your account, issue a replacement card and wire money to you. Few people may find keeping wallet information on the computer more risky, so keeping important documents separate is the solution for them.
If your social security number is missing then you should report the loss to the Federal Trade Commission to avoid the risk of being victimised by identity theft. By the way, after informing the authorities, your card will be replaced, but the SSN number won't be changed.
Preventive measure in advance
There are certain things that you can do before loosing the wallet to reduce the damage, lets see what they are.
Don't carry important documents or personal information with you if they are not required.
Keep a copy of your passport in the wallet instead of the original if possible.
Keep a list of important numbers handy, such as your bank, creditor, local authorities and embassy.
You can hire an identity theft protection provider to fight identity theft.
The most popular company among all identity theft protection providers is LifeLock, which provides ID theft alerts if there is a risk to it, scans for any suspicious activity related to your identity on a real time basis. The company works with top three credit bureaus in partnership on clients behalf.