When we begin to think about the risk of a lost wallet or purses, we have to agree that such incidents can occur anywhere and at any time. As we consider the risks of lost or even more importantly stolen wallets, we start to realize that such incidents can have dire consequences if we are not organized and prepared for such incidents. Women are even at a much higher risk than men because women carry more items with them than men due to the inherent size of their wallets and purses. Carrying more personal items around is perfectly fine if we know why and what exactly we are carrying with us at all times. But if we don’t, then when the inevitable occurs, we are more affected emotionally and physically as we scramble to figure out what to do next. We periodically go through our wallets and purses to clean up and get organized and it is a matter of a few days before our wallets become a mess again but the topic of getting organized begs for a separate article.
When we realize that we are no longer in possession of our wallets, we have to quickly analyze whether the wallet is lost or stolen because it makes a very big difference as you will soon find out. If we conclude that our wallet is lost because we feel that we left it somewhere, then we have some time to go back and look for the lost wallet at the places that we visited earlier. Although we cannot afford to look for a lost wallet forever, we have more time to deal with the incident than if we concluded that our wallet was stolen because the misuses of our personal items in the wallet begins immediately when the wallet is stolen. That being said, when we assume that our wallet is left somewhere like at the coffee shop or the bank, we should quickly think about the places we visited earlier and search for them immediately. If we fail to find our lost wallet within a reasonable time, we have to immediately consider the risk of identity theft if our personal items are found by others. It is not wise to wait or look for the wallet for days because this action increases the window of opportunity for potential fraudsters. On the other hand, if the wallet is found, we have to examine the contents to see if any thing which can lead to fraud is missing and notify the appropriate companies and authorities. The process of content examination and loss notification depends of course on our ability to know what exactly was in our wallets in the first place. Knowing about the contents of our wallets is addressed by one of the Identity KAOS principles.
I have personally lost my wallet a couple of times in my lifetime and although it was not a big problem in the years past as it is today due to introduction of the Internet and increased number of personal items that we all carry with us, the experience was devastating nevertheless. You can learn about my lost wallet story in this article.