Summer Vacation Tip: What To Do if You Lose Your Wallet or Purse

Outside of a cancelled flight, illness or inclement weather, losing your wallet is probably one of the most stressful things that can happen on your summer vacation. Being away from home and not having access to money, credit cards, and worst of all – fearing who may have your personal information – can ruin a vacation.

While we hope this doesn’t happen to you on your summer vacation, knowing what to do in an emergency is never a bad idea. Here are a few steps to take in the case you lose or have your wallet stolen while on vacation:

Get a Police Report

Even if you don’t think that your wallet was stolen, it’s a good idea to report it to local police so that you have a report of the incident for insurance purposes and, if you are flying home, to help you prove your identity at the airport. TSA will allow you to fly without your ID if you are able to prove your identity through other means. It’s a good idea to get to the airport early so you can discuss this with the TSA agent and bring a police report to verify your story. Of course, it would also be smart to plan ahead and bring alternate forms of ID and store them in a different spot than your wallet or purse, as an additional safeguard.

International Travelers

If you are in a foreign country, you might also have the additional concern of losing your passport if your wallet or purse is lost. The best way to prevent this is to keep your passport in a secured safe where you staying and not carry it with you, but if you have it with you and it gets lost, there are a few steps you should take. The first step would be to report it to local police and get a police record. After that, you’ll need to get a new passport since you can’t leave the country without one. The U.S. embassy can help you get a new passport and help you contact someone to wire money to you, if needed. For more details on replacing a passport, this site has some good info:
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/emergencies/lost-stolen-passport-abroad.html.

Be Proactive

Although most people know that you need to cancel all credit and debit cards when your wallet is lost or stolen, did you know that you should also initiate fraud alerts with all three credit bureaus? A fraud alert lasts for 90 days and will keep an eye on any suspicious activity that shows up on credit report. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your credit report for several months after your wallet is lost or stolen. Of course, you should NEVER carry your social security card in your wallet, but if you did and it gets lost, you’ll have to get in touch with your Social Security Administration office to replace it. And, if that happens, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on your credit report for the long term as ID theft can happen months and years after information is obtained.

Download Our App

If you lose your ID, passport or social security card while traveling, you are at a high risk for ID theft. As a legal plan member, you have access to attorneys for identity theft issues wherever you are in the country. Our mobile app is a great resource for you when you are traveling as it lets you search for and contact network attorneys. If you have concerns about what to do if your wallet is lost or stolen, you can contact an attorney back home, or in an emergency, one near where you are vacationing, for advice on what to do. You can download it on the Apple Store or Google Play.

With these tips in mind, we hope that you feel equipped to handle any stress that may come your way this summer vacation season.