Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.


Check here if you're human


Lost and Stolen Wallets Lead To Identity Theft

Pin It

A friend called me in a panic because she had lost her wallet, which contained her driver’s license, credit cards, debit card, store cards, and her Social Security card. (You should never carry your Social Security card or Social Security number in your purse or wallet.)

Anyway, she was freaked out and wanted to know what to do. There are certain things you can do now, before your wallet is lost or stolen, to mitigate future damage, and other things that should be done once a wallet is missing.

While you still have your wallet, thin it out as much as possible. If you have multiple credit cards, store cards, Social Security cards, insurance cards, and more, then, “Houston, we have a problem.” All these ancillary cards serve no purpose other than putting you at risk for new account fraud or account takeover.

Remove unnecessary cards and put them in a safe, or cut them up and cancel the accounts. I have a MasterCard and an American Express, and if everyone took American Express I’d only have one card. I also carry a Costco card, driver’s license, and a debit card to make deposits and get cash. That’s it.

Beyond that, no other card is needed, including insurance cards. Insurance cards only need to be carried the day of an appointment. They are not necessary in emergency situations.

Photocopy all the cards in your wallet (front and back) and keep them in a safe.

When your wallet is lost or stolen, pull out the photocopies of your cards. Call the credit card issuer to report the loss and request new cards.

Easy enough. However, there is one thing I’d recommend you do prior to losing your wallet — invest in an identity theft protection service.

To ensure peace of mind, subscribe to an identity theft protection service, such as McAfee Identity Protection, which offers proactive identity surveillance and lost wallet protection. If your credit or debit cards are ever lost, stolen or misused without your authorization, you can call McAfee Identity Protection and they’ll help you cancel them and order new ones. If their product fails, you’ll be reimbursed for any stolen funds not covered by your bank or credit card company. (For details, see McAfee’s guarantee.) For additional tips, please visit CounterIdentityTheft.com.

Robert Siciliano is a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert. See him discuss identity theft on YouTube. (Disclosures)

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • Is “Enterprise Rent a Car” Insurance a Scam?
    I rent cars all the time. I travel and need to get around so I can teach people about how scams work and how to protect themselves. Yesterday I encountered what seems like a scam but is probably just very unethical behavior on the part of Enterprise Rent a Car. Here is how it played out. I head to
  • Never put these Docs in your Wallet
    Yes, believe it or not, you CAN get by in life with a wallet that just has a little cash, a store card or two, one to two credit cards and your ID.  Unless you absolutely need your insurance card or Social Security card, leave those items at home. For years now, wallets have been on
  • Travel Security and Identity Theft Scams
    Traveling for business or pleasure is hectic, unnerving, not at all glamorous and often draining. Often, we say we need a vacation after a vacation. And when traveling, the last thing you need is to be ripped off. Things to consider: Hotel Rooms Hotel rooms are not secure. Just last week I entered a hotel room with
  • Identity Theft Tops Consumer Complaints for Eleventh Year
    The Federal Trade Commission recently released the list of the most common consumer complaints in 2010. Identity theft topped the list for the eleventh year in a row. The FTC received 1,339,265 in 2010, and 250,854, or 19%, involved identity theft. In second place, there were 144,159 debt collection complaints. For the first time, “imposter scams,”
  • 11.7 Million Identity Theft Victims Occur Per Year: Are You Next?
    According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, 5% of U.S. residents over the age of 16 fell victim to identity theft within a two-year period. More than half of those affected were victims of credit card fraud. Identity theft was defined in the survey as the attempted or successful misuse of an existing account, such as a

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category