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What should I do if my purse or wallet is lost or stolen?
Consumer education expert Linda Sherry discusses what to do if you purse or wallet is lost or stolen, including preparation and calling credit card companies.
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Linda Sherry: Hi! I am Linda Sherry from Consumer Action and today we are going to talk little bit about some advice for people who have become victims of identity fraud.
Speaker: What should I do if my purse or wallet is lost or stolen?
Linda Sherry: The first thing you should do before your purse or wallet is ever stolen, you should write down a list of the things you keep typically in your wallet or purse and the contact numbers for those companies that issues to those cards; so that could be your credit cards, your bank card, your voter registration card, your library card, all those things that you really going have a hard time thinking of hen your purse or wallet is stolen.
So, take that list that I hope you have created by the time purse or wallet is stolen, and look at it and call all the companies, notify and especially start with the credit card company, the ones where the thief could actually do some real damage with the cards or the bank card, etcetera. Call up, in most cases those accounts will be closed or cancelled and you will be issued new cards.
Then the other thing, follow-up with the all other companies; then I really recommend that you get your credit report and you can get your free annual credit report; if you haven't got it already or just pay for one, because this is the place where if, for instance, you had a Social Security Card in your wallet and you had your address and you had some other key information about yourself in the wallet, a thief has just found a bonanza. An ID thief is having a great day when he finds all that stuff.