FIRST: Call the policeiStock/Susan Chiang
If you suspect your wallet was stolen, call the cops. Even though the police might not be able to track down your wallet, putting in a report will cover you in other ways. If a thief does try committing identity fraud, you’ll have to prove that you aren’t responsible for the costs. “Someone is going to lose here, and it’s either the credit card company, bank, or you,” says Robert Siciliano, CSP, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com. “If you say you’re a victim, you need to prove it.” That police report could be the proof you need to show you’re telling the truth about false charges. Don’t miss these tips for keeping your purse safe in public.
Close your debit and credit cardsRobert Faric
Any lost credit or debit accounts should be closed as soon as possible. Start with debit, which can be even more devastating than having a credit card stolen. “The money is coming right out of your bank account, whereas credit is a credit card company’s money,” Siciliano says. But act fast—you’ll be liable for up to only $50 of fraudulent charges if you report it within two business days, but any longer and you could lose $500 or more. Credit cards, on the other hand, have a 60-day gap for you to report. Siciliano recommends swapping out a debit card for an ATM card, which lets you take out or deposit cash and checks but can’t be swiped to pay at a store or restaurant. These are 26 secrets identity thieves won’t tell you.