Lost your wallet? Here’s what to do

With vacation season in full swing, it’s easier than ever to lose track of a wallet in a winding airport security line, or on a crowded, sunbaked beach. Rather than spiraling into a panic about your wallet taking a vacation of its own, here are some steps to take right away.

Image of credit and debit cardsReport the loss immediately. If your wallet contains a credit, debit, or ATM card, contact your card issuer right away to let them know what happened. Many companies have 24-hour, toll-free numbers to call in these situations.

Acting fast limits your liability for charges you didn’t authorize if your card is lost or stolen. Your protection against unauthorized charges depends on the type of card — and when you report the loss. Learn more about how to limit your losses.

Double-check your card statement. If you see charges or withdrawals on your statement that you don’t recognize, report them to your card issuer immediately.

Follow up. Send a letter to your card issuer to confirm that you reported the problem, and request a return receipt for your records. Include your account number, and two important points: the date and time you realized your card was missing, and when you reported it to them.

Check your insurance policies. Some homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies may cover your potential losses from a stolen credit, debit or ATM card. If you learn that this is not the case, check to see if you can change your policy to include this type of coverage.

Protect your cards in the future. Carry the minimum — only the cards you absolutely need — and don’t bring along any sources of sensitive information, like PINs and Social Security cards. Keep a copy of the phone numbers of each of your card issuers so you can report a loss right away.  

For more tips, check out our articles on lost or stolen credit, debit, and ATM cards and how to keep your personal information secure.

Comments

Thank you this is a great report that I will forward to my email list

If you have this in hard, paper copy I would be giving them to those who do not have a computer.
I would appreciate having 20 hard copies of this FTC report. Some Spanish translation copies would also be helpful.
Thank you in advance.

Hi, Glenn. You can order our publication on Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards at ftc.gov/bulkorder. Order as many free copies as you need, and they will be shipped to you within 3-4 weeks. We also have this information available in an easy-to-print online article in English and Spanish.

Nothing useful. Old rubbish

I agree...ol rubbish! Blah blah blah

What is old rubbish to you is not old to someone else. Good to remember.

Thank you for the valuable information.

I'll share a trick that I use. I out fake PIN numbers on all of my credit cards. I once lost a card. It was apparently found because the finder went to an ATM machine to get cash using the PIN number that I put on the card. Because that number was incorrect, it shut down the card and notified their Security office!

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing and I will use this trick myself.

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