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wallet stolen; all cards canceled; what do I need to watch out for?

CalicaCalica Registered User regular
As the title implies, my wallet was stolen a few days ago. It's actually not nearly as bad as it could be, because I'd just recently gotten back from a trip overseas, and I hadn't gotten around to putting all my insurance cards, cash, etc. back into it, so all I lost was my debit card, credit card, driver's license, and some spare change. I canceled the cards immediately, and I'll request a duplicate license as soon as I have my new cards (so I can order online) or Friday (when I can get to the DMV), whichever happens first. I'm actually more upset about the loss of the wallet itself than anything that was in it at the time.

That said, am I at a heightened risk for identity theft? If so, what steps can I take to prevent it or at least catch it if/when it happens?

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  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    I am crazy meticulous about these things and somehow, somewhere, someone managed to figure out/find/get one of the many many lists that were hacked from banks, my social security number, and when they did they tried their darndest to apply for credit cards in my name. Thankfully, my credit card companies were wise enough to call me immediately when an application came through that didn't have my address, and I suffered no ill effects other than annoyance at the fact that I had to deal with it at all.

    So here's what you should do.

    1) Get a copy of your credit report. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com, which is the free, Government-mandated credit report request website. Get your report from all three credit agencies, check them for inconsistencies, and make sure your contact information on them is up-to-date and accurate.

    2) File a fraud alert. It's easy, it's free, you don't need to prove anything, and it adds an extra layer of protection on your account for 3 months. Once you set the alert with one credit agency it will notify the other two. What the fraud alert does is put a notice at the top of your credit report and makes sure that you are called every single time anyone requests credit in your name. You can keep renewing the fraud alert every 3 months.

    3) If you ever get called in regards to a fraudulent credit application, request documentation from the company calling you, and file a report with your local police. Probably nothing will get done, but this report is helpful for step 6. After step 3, proceed to steps 4, 5 and 6.

    4) File an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission here: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0277-create-identity-theft-report.

    5) File an alert with the IRS here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection

    6) File a 7 year fraud alert with one of the three credit agencies. You will need proof that you filed an identity theft report, and any of the previous three reports should suffice, as well as documentation of the attempt at obtaining credit in your name, which is what you asked for in step 3. This

    This should result in fairly iron-clad protection against anyone obtaining credit in your name, and the only thing that would give you more protection would be if you were to freeze your credit, which is not recommended if you are not fixed to a certain location for a planned period of time because it makes applying for loans, mortgages, anything involving credit a huge hassle unless you unfreeze the credit.

    Hope this helps, and it won't cost you anything but a few hours of your time.

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  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    Calica wrote: »
    As the title implies, my wallet was stolen a few days ago. It's actually not nearly as bad as it could be, because I'd just recently gotten back from a trip overseas, and I hadn't gotten around to putting all my insurance cards, cash, etc. back into it, so all I lost was my debit card, credit card, driver's license, and some spare change. I canceled the cards immediately, and I'll request a duplicate license as soon as I have my new cards (so I can order online) or Friday (when I can get to the DMV), whichever happens first. I'm actually more upset about the loss of the wallet itself than anything that was in it at the time.

    That said, am I at a heightened risk for identity theft? If so, what steps can I take to prevent it or at least catch it if/when it happens?

    So, there's a vague chance someone could attempt to alter and use your DL to get bank info at a branch. It's pretty unlikely since the risk of being caught gets real high at that point. One could also try and find places that would accept a faxed-in DL as identification for business over the phone, but again that's most likely going to be your bank, who should have noted that your ID was stolen.

    Basically, you should be fine. Someone who finds a wallet and wants to steal is gonna grab the cash, try the cards, and then toss it.

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  • aaryastarkaaryastark Registered User new member
    You have to file a report once and get a copy of it and just block your card at once

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Stop posting in old threads.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
This discussion has been closed.