Monday, January 14, 2008

9 Things I Considered When I Lost My Wallet

I lost my wallet earlier today, so stress levels have been high. I thought I'd document a few things here in the hope it helps someone else next time...

I'm fortunate that my wife is excellent about keeping track of financial records, credit cards, etc. I have a primary credit card and a debit card for an "allowance" bank account, but I also carry a debit card for the family account, along with a couple other credit cards. I have no clue what type or bank these cards are because I never look at or use them. But, like I said, my wife is great about financial records. You're going to need numbers before you can do anything, or you're in for a very long day.

So, here's what we've done so far:

1. All cards are canceled. Most cards had my wife authorized to initiate the changes necessary, but one rarely-used card did not so I had to handle this one. If you wish your spouse to have the ability to handle credit card issues, make sure you get him or her authorized ahead of time.

2. Called Equifax to place a 90-day free fraud alert on the the credit reports, and discovered they will notify Experian and Transunion automatically, saving me two additional calls.

3. While I'm positive I wasn't carrying my social security card (it's too big for the pouch in my wallet), I can't find it, so I contacted the SSA and discovered I cannot get a replacement card over the phone or internet. Form SS-5 must be filled out and mailed with picture ID, or presented in person at the nearest SSA office.

4. Contacted the Sheriff's office to file a police report in case the wallet was picked up/stolen. A police report must be sworn and signed, so I could not initiate it over the phone. I will have to handle this when I get home tonight, because I work in a different county.

5. Applied for a replacement Florida Driver's License over the internet, cost is $10.00 .

6. My wife is taking care of replacement insurance cards for the car and medical.

7. Stopping at the library on the way home to cancel the card. Why is this important? Because libraries make you pay for materials checked out and not returned. Since our library system has an extensive video, DVD, and book collection, all of which can be sold on eBay, this needs to be canceled.

8. Lost for good: $25 JCPenney gift card that I put in my wallet yesterday.

9. We belong to no clubs or organizations with membership cards, so no action is required on this front.

Hope this list of our thought process helps. If you can think of anything I forgot, please leave a comment below.

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