Having your wallet stolen can leave you feeling bereft of options. Our experts can give you step-by-step guidance throughout the process.
What to Do When you Lose your Wallet in Australia
A wallet is like a library that contains all your important information. If your wallet is lost or it has been stolen the first instinct is often to panic. While a lost or stolen wallet does increase the potential of identity theft or fraud, there are steps you can take to limit the damage.
The Consequences of a Stolen Wallet
The convenience of having all your relevant ID cards and information in one place generally outweighs any thoughts of potential security risk. However, with access to your wallet, opportunistic thieves can do a lot of damage to your debit or credit cards or your identifying information.
There is always some risk of having your identity stolen but losing your wallet can multiply the dangers. Having your wallet stolen is no different to losing your passport, and the consequences can be just as serious.
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in Australia and a stolen wallet can certainly make an identity thief’s life easier. From a driver’s license to financial services cards, your wallet is a treasure trove of information. If a thief gets their hands on your licence, it can lead to traffic offences or demerit points being incorrectly assigned to you. A stolen wallet can lead to financial fraud, where a thief takes out loans on a false identity and it can also result in immigration fraud.
Even now, many people are not aware of how much information is available from the piece of leather that sits in your pocket, unfortunately, it is everything an identity thief needs. Follow the steps below to minimise the damage and to learn what you can do when your wallet is lost.
What to Do When You Lose Your Wallet
- The first step once you realise that your wallet is missing is to report it to the police. This allows the authorities to take the matter further and follow up if they find it. A police report can be useful later as evidence in the event of prosecution or it may be needed to get a new driver’s licence or other identification forms. It will also make you feel better to know that the relevant authorities are aware and doing everything in their power to retrieve your wallet.
- The second step is to cancel all your financial services cards, from debit to credit cards. Any cards with personal and identifying information about you will need to be cancelled. Do not worry about the embarrassment, cards are cancelled and lost every day, it is their job to help you. Every second counts and the faster your cards are cancelled the more damage can be avoided. The quicker you cancel your cards, the less likely it will be that money will be taken from your accounts.
- For the weeks and months after your wallet is stolen, keep a close eye on all your accounts. This will let you know if any accounts were compromised. Make sure you are aware of each transaction and the amount that was spent. You will also have peace of mind once you know that no unusual activity has occurred in your accounts.
- The next step that needs to be taken is to monitor your automatic payments, this is one of the reasons thieves acquire your identity for their own financial gain. We are so used to subscriptions and different payments coming out of our accounts that it can be easy to miss. Ensure you know exactly what each payment is for, so you are not lining the pockets of a cybercriminal at your expense. At the same time, update any automatic bills you paid with your old cards. It’s a good idea to keep a list of these automatic payments, just in case.
- The last step is to replace all the cards in your wallet. Make a list of every card that may have been in your wallet and contact the relevant organisations to replace them. This can take up quite a bit of your time, so get started right away. Everyone remembers financial services cards and their driver’s licence but don’t forget about insurance or your gym membership.
Why use Norton?
Identity Advisor Plus can help give you peace of mind regarding the potential of your identity being stolen. Our knowledgeable identity restoration specialists can give you some best practices to alleviate the negative consequences of cybercrime.
Norton™ Identity Advisor Plus will provide you with guidance on how to cancel or replace cards, driver’s licenses and more. Our team has thirty years of experience in restoration. We know exactly what steps to take and what calls need to be made. From fraud alerts to contacting agencies, we provide step-by-step guidance on what needs to be done.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc.
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