A client of ours had her wallet stolen recently on Newbury Street in Boston, Massachusetts. After commiserating with her and then looking around the web, we have come up with a few suggestions should the same happen to you.
1. Use only initials on your printed checks so a thief will not know how you sign your name. Do not have your phone number on your check. Never put your social security number on your checks.
2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Write “photographic identification required” in the signature spot.
3. When paying a credit card bill, only write the last four numbers of the credit card on the check.
4. Make a copy of each and every document in your wallet (front and back) and keep it in a safe place. You can also make a PDF file of these documents and have them available in a web based storage account. Be careful with passwords for that account, however. You can do the same with your passport.
If your wallet is stolen:
1. File a police report. The credit card issuers may require this.
2. Cancel your credit cards (using the numbers on the extra copy of the cards that you have in a safe place).
3. Call the three credit reporting agencies to report a stolen wallet: 1.) Equifax: 1-888-766-0008; 2.) Experian: 1-888-397-3742; and, 2.) TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289.