Some fraud we can prevent by taking extra precautions or simply trusting your instincts; some is unavoidable. Most of us have also found ourselves in a predicament where our purse or wallet comes up missing. Save this post for future reference. Use it as your personal strategy to minimize any damage in case your wallet is lost or stolen.
Steps To Take:
1. Call the issuers of your debit and credit cards, immediately. Report the card(s) as lost or stolen. Every card issuer has a procedure that will hold your card numbers to protect you from unauthorized use.
Keep These Numbers Handy:
- MASTERCARD: 1-800-627-8372 (US) or 1-636-722-7111 (Global)
- VISA: 1-800-VISA-911 (1-800-8472-911) or 1-303-967-1096 (Global, call collect)
- AMEX: 1-800-528-4800
- DISCOVER: 1-800-347-2683
If the cards were issued by a local bank or credit union, call these institutions, as well. If checks (including traveler’s checks) were part of the loss, notify your financial institution as soon as possible. These items will be handled separately.
2. Remember to call Connexus. Our service team is ready to help you during normal business hours at 800-845-5025 or via online chat. After hours, check our website for additional information. Visit www.connexuscu.org for important numbers to call, and other steps you can take, in the event you lose your Connexus card.
Contact Connexus After-Hours:
- Lost or Stolen Credit Cards: call 800-558-3424
- Lost or Stolen Debit or ATM Cards: call 800-383-8000
After ALL cards are reported missing, verify that new cards will be sent to you ASAP with NEW account numbers. Request the same credit limits as before and ensure bonus points or accrued rewards are transferred to your new cards.
3. Redirect automatic payments. If your cards were used for automatic bill payments or recurring debits, inform the payees as soon as possible – within 48 hours. If you don’t, the payment will be rejected as the card and card numbers will be declined.
4. Place an alert or freeze on your accounts. You will need to inform the three major credit-reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union — about your loss. Fraud alerts protect your information and require a creditor to verify your identity before approving new credit transactions. A phone call to the number you have on file for fraud alerts will help prevent the thief from using your accounts.
Call The Three Credit Reporting Agencies:
- Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742)
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
5. Report your loss or theft to the local authorities. Report any theft or loss to the police – it’s a crime they deal with daily. THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP. While the police may (or may not) be able to recover your wallet, should you become a victim of identity theft or fraud, you can be secure in saying you REPORTED the crime.
Information The Police May Request:
- The location, date and time you believe your wallet was stolen.
- What contents were in the wallet.
- A description of the wallet itself.
- If stolen, any suspects or a description of suspicious activities.
When you’ve finished filing the report, keep a copy for your records.
6. Report your missing driver’s license. Most of us keep our driver’s license in our wallets. It’s also something prominently used in identity theft and fraud. Contact your local DMV as soon as possible to report a missing driver’s license. Although you can call, it’s better handled in person, and, should help expedite your application more quickly. There are steps necessary to reissue a license and you may incur some fees. The DMV may also require that you contact the police and file a report, if you’ve not already done so.
7. If keys are missing, change the locks. If you keep a house key in your wallet, don’t risk a break-in after your wallet is lost or stolen. Be vigilant even if your wallet is returned; thieves often copy keys. Savvy crooks will even steal a wallet or purse, copy your address and key, then return the wallet “unharmed” to the police. So if your keys went missing with the wallet, replace your locks at home. Choose a reputable locksmith, or do it yourself by visiting your local hardware store.
8. If your SSN was in your wallet, contact the Social Security Administration. Most of us have our SSN memorized, so there’s no need to carry the card around. Instead, keep it filed safely at home. If your card was in your wallet, report the loss straightaway. A new number will not be issued, just a card. Although important, calling the Social Security Administration won’t help with fraud and ID theft. You will need to take additional steps to ensure your safety.
If You Social Security Card Is Missing, Notify The Authorities:
- IRS Identity Protection Unit: 800-908-4490
- Federal Trade Commission: 877-ID-THEFT
- Internet Crime Complaint Center
9. List everything in your wallet. Items that may seem insignificant can come back to haunt you. These can include membership cards, work access cards, library cards, medical insurance cards and computer passwords. But, in the wrong hands, unrecovered items can cause you future grief and potential harm.
10. Order credit reports. Regardless if you incur a loss, it’s a good idea to review your credit report once a year. It’s especially important if your wallet comes up missing. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com, review your report and search for possible fraudulent activity.