Have you ever had your wallet stolen or experienced identity theft? What could you have done differently to prevent it?
1. Social Security Card
There’s really no reason to keep your Social Security card in your wallet, unless you’re completing paperwork for a new job or applying for a driver’s license,. It may seem like a convenient place to keep your card, but if your wallet is lost or stolen, thieves can use your Social Security Number to open credit card accounts and apply for loans. Remove your Social Security card from your wallet; memorize the number, and then store the card is a fireproof safe or lock-box.
2. Spare House Key
You will probably lock yourself out the house at least once in your lifetime. Locksmiths aren’t cheap but If your wallet is ever stolen, thieves will not only gain your personal information, but also access to your home. Your driver’s license contains your address, and it only takes one brazen thief to break into your home. A better solution is to give a spare key to a relative or a trusted neighbor, or keep the key tucked inside your shirt.
3. Account Passwords
A password cheat sheet is one way to remember your PIN numbers and the login information for your many accounts. But if you keep this information in your wallet – along with your credit cards or debit cards – thieves can easily access your accounts and take money from your checking or savings accounts.Keep a cheat sheet, but don’t store the information in your wallet. Create a computer spreadsheet for your account information and protect your computer with a password, or store the information on a password-protected phone.
4. Blank Checks
Checks include personal information, such as your bank account number, your name, and your address. With this information, thieves can transfer money from your account, fill in blank checks, and wipe out your account before you realize that your wallet has been stolen. The bank will likely reimburse your account, but why go through the hassle? Never keep all your checks in your wallet – simply tear out what you need for the day’s purchases, and leave the checkbook at home.
5. Multiple Credit Cards
Canceling just one of your credit cards because of theft is tedious. But if you have services auto-billed to this credit card, you have to notify merchants of your updated account information. If you keep all of your credit cards in your wallet, this is what you’ll have to do if it’s stolen. Therefore, you should never keep more than two credit