It can happen to anyone. You leave your purse in a restaurant or a pickpocket takes off with your wallet. From the instant you realize your valuable identification, credit cards, and cash are gone, it can be a fight to recover. The repercussions are serious. Not only can a thief steal your cash or use your credit cards, he can also steal your identity. You could face bank accounts opened in your name, astronomical bogus cell phone bills, or even a change in your driving record. With your Social Security number in hand, a thief can assume your identity and damage your credit forever.
However, there are some steps you should take immediately to protect yourself. You can begin today by taking time to write down every credit card number you have, along with the toll-free phone numbers you would need to contact your credit card companies. Keep this list in a safe place (not in your purse or wallet). In addition, you will need to include your bank account numbers and the bank’s telephone number. Also include the phone numbers of the three large credit-reporting organizations. (Equifax 1-800-525-6285, Experian 1-888-397-3742, TransUnion 1-800-680-7289).
If you are the victim of theft or have simply lost your wallet or purse, follow these steps:
- Call the police immediately to report the theft or loss.
- Call your bank and credit card companies to report the loss. You may ask for a freeze on your account for further protection. Follow this up with a written letter, detailing this information. Include the date you called and reported it to the police and the name of the person you spoke to on the phone.
- Call the three national credit-reporting companies and ask to have a fraud alert placed on your both your name and Social Security number. From then on, any company that checks your credit in the future will contact you prior to issuing any new lines of credit.
- Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-269-0271. They can also place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number.
- Alert your insurance agent to the theft to see if you are covered for all or part of your loss.
- Check all future bills that come to ensure that there are no wrongful charges. You must report these errors within 60 days.
- Document all calls made by you and keep these records in order to ensure that you have adequate information needed to fight false claims or wrongful charges.
Whether its money, pet care, or traveling tips, we have all the information you need right here at Savannah West Apartments in Kansas City, Missouri. We invite you to enhance your lifestyle with these helpful tips!