Picture this. You are out and about at your beautiful honeymoon when you get a call from your bank. Someone is using your credit card to buy those suede boots that everyone is coveting. That’s when you realize your wallet is missing. Ugh!
It’s so easy to panic. (And, no one would blame you for that!) But, here’s the deal — Criminals are quick, so you are going to need to panic later and act quickly. And, here is what you should do —
- The first thing you want to do is cancel your debit cards and your credit cards. If your checkbook was a part of your wallet, you should cancel your checks too. I would even recommend closing your bank account and opening a new one at a different bank. I know that sounds like a pain, but you don’t want the criminals to return to your bank months after the theft attempting to withdraw money from your account.
- After that, you should file a police report. Filing a police report will make the proper authorities aware of the theft in case your belongings are found. If you are on your honeymoon when your wallet is lost, the police report will be helpful with filing travel insurance claims. In addition, the police report will be a valuable piece of paperwork to have available if the criminals use your identification or credit cards to commit a crime.
- Contact your airline immediately to ensure you know the process for getting on your flight home. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website, not having an ID doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be allowed to fly home. But, we recommend that you check with your airline first and arrive at the airport early to ensure that you have ample time to explain your dilemma and provide who you are. If the TSA officials are satisfied with your explanation and paperwork, they will work with the airline to provide you a boarding pass that notes you do not have identification in your possession. If you are flying internationally, you will need to get a copy of your passport before you are able to leave the country. So, reach out to the US Embassy in the country you are visiting to schedule an emergency appointment. The embassy should be able to assist you with replacing your passport.
- Then, work with a locksmith to change your locks at your home. If you are still on your honeymoon, ask a family member or close friend to assist you with this task. Sometimes, criminals don’t stop with your purse/wallet. Change the locks to your home, along with the security code, to prevent the criminal from walking right in your front door.
- Consider changing the locks to your car too! If your car keys were in your purse and your car registration was in your wallet, the criminal has a road map to your car possession.
- Notify the credit bureaus. Contact all three of the credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, and set up a fraud alert. And keep notes of your communication with them — You may have to refer back to these notes if your identity is compromised.
Love and Soul Always, Kay