What Do You Do When You Lose Your Wallet?


Quick Answer

If a wallet is lost or stolen, the first step is to report the loss to the police, according to the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. The owner of the wallet needs the police report number to report the loss to a bank or other financial company.

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Full Answer

Reporting the loss of the wallet to the bank or institution issuing the credit cards limits the losses if someone else tries to use any credit cards from the lost wallet, according to ABC News. As of 2014, reporting the loss within two days limits the loss to $50. However, waiting until the third day increases liability to $500. Sixty days after the loss, the consumer has unlimited liability for the use of lost cards. Limiting the cards and information in a wallet helps to minimize the damage if the wallet is lost. Photocopies of everything in the wallet provide vital information when it is necessary to cancel credit cards.

Notify the three major credit reporting agencies of the loss and ask them to place a fraud alert on the account. This alert helps to prevent a person with identifying information often carried in a wallet from opening any new accounts. The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions recommends ordering a copy of credit reports from all three agencies a few weeks after the loss of the wallet.

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