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wallet

“What’s in your wallet?” is a great marketing program for a credit card but with all jokes aside; do you really know what is in your wallet or purse?  I bet you don’t!  Take the challenge.  Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of everything in your wallet.  Do you know your vehicle tag number, credit card numbers, driver’s license number, savings and checking account numbers?

When your purse, wallet or credit card information is lost or stolen, time is the most important thing. A thief will immediately start to use your checks or credit cards.  So, while you are at home looking for credit card numbers they are spending your money as fast as they can.  But there are some things you can do to ease the headache caused by the loss or theft of your wallet or purse.

  • Photocopy every card, front and back.  Include all cards including:  credit, debit, car insurance, medical insurance, and Social Security.  On the photocopy write the contact number under each card.
  • Make a list of everything you have in your purse, including all the cards, checkbook, cell phone, and camera.
  • Beside each item include account numbers, contact numbers, serial numbers, make  of item, and a description.
  • List the keys on your key chain.  Store duplicates safe at home.
  • Put a copy of your list and the photocopy in a file at your office and one at home.
  • Immediately call the policeThis will prove to credit providers that you were diligent. Then call your bank, credit card companies, Department of Motor Vehicles,  Social Security, cell provider, and insurance companies.

Carry Smart.  Do you really need all that stuff in your purse?  With proper ID you do not need to carry your credit cards with you while shopping. Never carry important papers in your purse such as your birth certificate, Social Security card or passport.  Keep an eye on your purse at all times.  It only takes a second for someone to walk by and slip your purse out of the cart. In addition, men should consider carrying their wallets in their front pockets if walking in crowded areas. This will make it harder for pickpockets.

You may not be able to totally protect yourself from a sly, criminal determined to steal your purse or wallet but taking some time today to make an inventory of its’ contents will save you hours of frustration and time if you do become a victim.

Author: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University, Butler County/Miami Valley EERA, green.1405@osu.edu.

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County/Heart of Ohio EERA

Sources:

FDIC Consumer News 6/1/2004

http://www.fdic.gov/CONSUMERS/CONSUMER/news/cnspr04/atm.html

McKinney, C, Ph.D., Know Your Valuable Papers: What and Where  http://ohioline.osu.edu/pdf/l237.pdf

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