Five Things You Must Immediately Do After You Lose Your Wallet

Whether it’s misplaced or stolen, you should know what to do when you lose your wallet.

No one can predict if your prized wallet will fall out of your pocket or if a thief will sneakily take it. What matters is that you know what to do after—and even before—it happens.

what to do lost wallet

Not only that we’ve prepared some steps you can take the moment you find out your wallet is gone, but we’ve also included some handy tips to prepare you for that moment.

(Read: How Your Credit Card Information Is Stolen And What To Do About It)

Preparing for the worst

You are probably not used to leaving your house without everything you need such as your car and house keys, a fully charged phone, money, your important IDs, and of course, your credit cards.

No one can tell if today is your unlucky day. However, have you ever taken the time to check if you have unnecessary stuff in your wallet?

To mitigate potential losses before it even happens to you, we’ve listed down some preventive measures you must do to prepare your wallet for the worst-case scenario:

Make an inventory of your wallet’s contents

From your old receipts to your IDs and credit cards, make a list of everything that you always keep in your wallet. This way, it’s easier to assess your losses and you no longer have to make guesses of what’s inside.

Debulk your wallet

Pare down your wallet and travel only with a light, easy-to-carry one. Bring only the items you will use for the day. Leave other unnecessary items such as excess cards and IDs at home.

Leave contact details inside

Keep a list of your mobile and telephone numbers inside your wallet so there’s a way to contact you. You can also include your family or close friend’s phone numbers in case of emergency. Although the IDs in your wallet may have your contact details already, create a separate list of numbers in case the card gets emptied.

Make a copy of your IDs and other documents

Making copies of your wallet’s contents will come in handy when you lose them. This will not only save you the hassle of pinpointing what you have lost and what you haven’t but also will have you an easy and smooth transaction if ever you need to replace some. You can even scan some and have it emailed to yourself for backup purposes.

What to do after you lose your wallet

Finding your wallet gone can be a scary experience. However, you might want to keep a level head and take these steps so you can prevent further losses.

Check if it’s lost—or just misplaced

Freaking out after you notice that you find your wallet missing is normal, but don’t automatically assume the worst just yet. Before you sound all the alarms, give your surroundings one last check to see if you just misplaced it.

You can retrace your steps and figure out where you last used it. You can also call your previous locations such as the gym or the restaurant where you had your lunch or a store where you bought something. If you’re lucky, someone may have surrendered your wallet to a point person, waiting for you to pick it up.

Contact your card providers

When your wallet is gone, the first thing you have to do is contact the banks that issued your credit and ATM cards. With a simple phone call, they will immediately cancel your cards so no unauthorized transaction will take place. This way, you’ll diminish your losses and keep your accounts secure.

Figure out the contents of your wallet

Remember when we asked you to make an inventory of your wallet’s contents? This is the perfect time to whip it out and check if the items were inside your wallet when you lost it. If you haven’t created one, just remember all the items in there and put it on the list.

By doing this, you won’t just know what your losses are but it will be easier for you to report them.

File a police report

A lot of people don’t know that they could file a police report if your wallet goes missing. Although the chances of finding your wallet are slim, reporting it to the authorities will prevent identity theft. In addition, you may need a police report once you file for replacement of lost IDs.

File for replacement of your IDs and documents

The last and final step when your wallet is gone is process replacements of everything in it. While some documents are easily replaceable, others require you to file a police report or affidavit of loss. For your cards, your banks will advise you when your new credit and ATM cards are ready for pickup or delivery. You might pay for replacement fees for some so be prepared.

Sources: Adrift Anywhere, WalletHacks, Woolet, Wise Bread