Wallet is lost
Many years ago in Europe, I realized my wallet is lost and suddenly a cold sweat appeared on my face from fear, disorientation, and confusion about what to do next. I’m not sure if you’ve ever lost your wallet before but it’s one of the worst feelings to realize that your wallet is stolen or lost and some stranger may now have access to some of your most intimate information that you placed in your wallet. I’m not really sure why I became so disoriented, whether it was because I didn’t know what to do or what the consequences are, but maybe it’s because carrying a wallet is like wearing shoes or pants every time we venture outside of our homes and without them we feel as though we are naked or a part of us is missing.
In my case, after I calmed down a few minutes following the discovery that my wallet is lost, I went through my entire day minute by minute in my head to figure out where I might have left my wallet. This task wasn’t very easy as I was trying to visualize the detailed activities of my day quickly while realizing that time is not on my side if my wallet falls into the wrong hands. I finally went through my entire day up to the point of my realization that my wallet is lost and considered the possibility that I might have left my wallet at the bank or the public phone booth which I visited the same day. Based on my analysis, I concluded that my wallet is lost rather than stolen. You may think what’s the difference whether a wallet is stolen or lost, but depending on each situation, the action plan that we put together to address the issue would be slightly different in each case. As I concluded that my wallet is lost and probably left at one of the two possible locations, I quickly went back to check both places. Had I concluded that my wallet was stolen, I would not have gone back to check the places where I thought they might be.
Unfortunately, after searching for my wallet at the two possible locations where I though I might have left it, I wasn’t able to find my wallet this time and I had to now consider the possibility of the wallet being found and stolen. I have lost my wallet twice in my lifetime, but I was lucky enough to find it the second time. Like most people, I learned my lesson and became more conscious about the possibility and risks of a lost or stolen wallet but others just ignore the risks and continue to treat their wallets and the valuables inside them carelessly as though nothing can happen to them.
At this point, as I was certain my wallet is lost and can possibly be misused, I had to act quickly and take all the correct steps to minimize any and potential damage. Luckily, there was no Internet at the time to expedite the theft and misuse of my identity information to post my wallet pictures on the Internet, shop online, date online, or complete a credit application under my name among other things. My only immediate concern was the misuse of my credit card. But in order to close and replace the credit card, I had to know which credit card I had placed in my wallet and what the customer service phone number is to immediately contact the bank. The last thing you want to do in these situations is to look for a bank’s phone number to contact and be bounced from one department to another. Fortunately, I only carried one credit card with me and just a few other items like a driver’s license and health insurance card. I walked right to one of my bank branches and told them what had happened and they took care of my problem. To readily identify the items in my wallet and the bank contact phone number wasn’t a very challenging task at the time because people owned fewer credit cards and carried less items with them. Our wallets are exploding these days and no matter how often we clean them up by throwing all the trash papers and plastics we put in them, we continue to have well-rounded wallets and purses. Like most people, if my wallet is lost or stolen today, I would have deeper and wider problems than twenty five years ago. That’s because I carry with me more items than ever before and if I lost them, I would have a longer action plan as I would have to call more banks and places to request replacement cards and data. That’s why it’s really important to be extremely paper organized these days and keep track of all your information no matter where they are whether in your wallet, briefcase, at home, at work, or your digital devices.
In conclusion, limiting the items and knowing exactly what we have in our wallets will certainly increase our confidence during times when our wallet is lost or stolen as well as the speed by which we take the necessary actions to limit any potential misuse of our information and replace the items immediately for a quick recovery and return to our normal daily life. In addition, limiting personal items like pictures and other emotional or valuable items we place in our wallets will safeguard them against loss or even damage during fire, flood and swimming pool accidents.
The Identity KAOS principles provide explanation and the need to identify, organize and secure your critical information including the items you have in your wallet, purse and life. As the program raises your awareness about proper management of your personal information and items, it will teach you how to assess, organize and secure your personal items and information in order to allow you to take quick actions when faced with lost or stolen personal items.
Visit the credit card section for more information if your wallet is lost.