Stolen Wallet

Posted: November 30, 2007 in Thoughts
Tags: , , , , ,

Well, this happened almost 3 weeks ago. My backpack got stolen at the gym, with my wallet inside it. This is the kind of things that you hear about all the time, but never think it could happen to you.

Anyway, of course the wallet contained a whole bunch of cards, and immediate action had to be taken in order to prevent any misuse (and to replace the cards), So I thought I should just write down everything I did here for future reference (and for anyone who might face a similar situation). Of course, this is specific to where I am (Ontario, Canada), so people at other places might have to do things differently, or at least use different contact information.

  1. Deactivate or cancel all credit cards (usually your credit cards have a phone number to call for any help. Make sure you write that number down and keep it in a safe place). This has to be done ASAP before someone can use the stolen credit cards.
  2. Deactivate or cancel any debit or ATM cards. This is usually less urgent than credit cards, since no one can use these without the PIN code. Still, it is a good idea to shut them down.
  3. File a police report about the incident. (This could be done before step 2, or even before step 1, depending on how long you think it might take).
  4. If the wallet also contained the social insurance number (SIN), you need to inform Service Canada, and get a replacement.
  5. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your credit report. The alert means that whenever you apply for new credit (credit card, loan, etc.), the creditor will have to contact you to make sure you are who you claim to be, before they authorize any new credit. It took me a while to get a hold of the correct phone numbers for the 3 organizations. So here they are:
    a) Equifax: 1-800-316-7530
    b) Experian: 1-888-826-1718
    c) TransUnion: 1-800-663-9980
  6. Replace driver’s license.
  7. Replace University student ID.
  8. Replace Health Card.

It is also a good idea to keep photocopies of all the contents of your wallet. It is much easier to have your driver’s license number, credit card number, etc. on hand when you call the corresponding organizations.

Side note, the backpack was found 2 days later, with all its contents, except for the cash and the watch, but that was after I already had to go through all the trouble of replacing the cards.

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