Nothing brings panic and fear to your personal life when you discover that your wallet is taken or missing. All of your personal, private information is in one single place where thieves or con artists can wreck havoc on your personal and credit life for years to come. Identity theft is becoming a more common problem. Here is what you can do to minimize the damage to your life.
First and Most Important:
File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen or lost, this proves to credit providers that you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
Cancel your credit cards immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them easily. (E-mail us with your bank/credit card toll free number and we will add it to the list.)
- Washington Mutual Bank – (800) 788-7000
- Wells Fargo Bank – (800) 869-3557
- Bank of America Mastercard – (800) 501-6375
- Capital One Visa Card – (800) 608-5227
- Citibank Mastercard USA – (800) 983-6453
- MBNA Quantum Mastercard – (800) 896-3698
- Shell Oil Company – (800) 331-3703
Call the three national credit reporting organizations and Social Security Administration immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and SS#. This step is very critical. It stops the bad guys cold.
The numbers are:
- Equifax – (800) 525-6285
- Experian (formerly TRW) – (888) 397-3742
- Trans Union – (800) 680-7289
- Social Security (fraud line) – (800) 269-0271
Review additional steps you can take at this great WEB site: Fight Identity Theft
Give Yourself a Little Peace-of-Mind:
Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine, do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
Here Is What a Thief Can Do:
Ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package
Applied for a VISA credit card
Have a credit line approved to buy a computer
Received a PIN number from DMV to change your driving record information online
Does this scare you what a thief, a computer, and going online to the internet can do? Did us.