What to Do If Your Wallet is Stolen

by Elle Martinez, Guest Blogger

Founder/ Podcaster, Simplify & Enjoy

2.6.2023
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Articles

One thing that ruins a wonderful trip is having your wallet stolen. I, unfortunately, had to deal with this years ago when attending an out-of-state wedding.

Thankfully, by taking a few preventive steps and moving quickly when it happened, I was able to keep our accounts from getting hit with fraudulent charges.

Take Precautions

First, before you leave for a trip, ensure you have things set up to protect your accounts.

  • Two-factor authentication: Hackers are getting more sophisticated, so make sure your account has added layers of security with two-factor authentication with your important accounts.
  • Strong and unique passwords:  It's tempting to reuse passwords since most of us have many accounts, but that can be a serious issue if hackers use that password to breach multiple accounts. Instead, utilize a password manager like LastPass to generate secure passwords.
  • Slim wallet: Keep your wallet and purse minimal regarding credit cards. If it gets stolen, you'll have fewer accounts to worry about.

These tips can also help you minimize damage from online data breaches.

What to do if it Happens

Unfortunately, even with preparation, bad things can and do happen. So, if your phone and/or wallet is stolen, here is what you need to do.

  • File a police report. You will want to call the police and file a report. That will go a long way toward any claims you have to make later with your financial institutions or your phone carrier or if there's any other loss involved.
  • Call your credit union and other financial institutions. Protect your finances and promptly notify them about your stolen cards.
  • Contact your phone provider. If your cell or smartphone was stolen, make sure your carrier knows so they can block usage.
  • Recover and replace your driver's license and other needed documents.
  • Monitor as needed. Check your credit reports and if necessary, freeze your account. It prevents new credit from being opened in your name.

You can have peace of mind as a member because Coastal offers a host of Fraud Prevention Tools.

Is there a difference between liability with a credit card versus a debit card?

One misconception I've heard from others was that credit cards were somehow safer than debit cards when it comes to liability.

While the process for getting your money back differs, you're protected with either one. That's why you must notify your financial institution about the fraudulent charges as soon as possible.

How Coastal Can Help You

I hope these tips help you protect your finances while you're traveling.

The best-case scenario is never having to deal with identity theft, but if it does happen, Coastal is with you every step to help your finances become whole again!

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