My wallet disappeared a few weeks ago. When the world is experiencing so much loss, actually finding something is a treasure. This has taught me an important lesson I’m sharing with you. It’s also why the experience of Lost…and Found…is #11 in my Things to Be Happy About series on advicesisters.com.
I never thought it could happen to me, but it could happen to anyone.
Before this all happened, I was listening to a Podcast with fraud expert Frank Abagnale (review of his book Scam Me If You Can) about preventing fraud, identity theft, etc. (Check out “The Perfect Scam Podcast).
In this last episode, a woman’s purse is stolen. She does what most of us would do, informing the police and canceling all of her credit and debit cards. She thinks she’s handled it but a month later while making a small purchase, her new debit card is declined. Later at home, she receives calls from multiple bank branches regarding checks she’s supposed to have deposited, but she hasn’t deposited any checks. She find out that someone is using her identity to get her money. Wow!
Since due to Covid-19 and our Mayor and Governor’s reluctance to open much up again, there’s no reason to use a wallet as there’s nothing to purchase. I didn’t even think to look for my wallet until….
…At the grocery store, making a purchase, I fished in my purse and found…no wallet. I figured maybe it was at home but I never take my wallet out and this never happened before so….
….The minute I got home I turned my apartment upside down, no wallet.
The first thing I did, after panicking for a while, was to call all of my banks and credit cards and alert them. During Covid-19, if you have an emergency it’s difficult. Websites don’t’ work, apps don’t have the information or ability to help with lost or stolen cards….I was up all night trying to secure these things.
Many websites (again, due to Covid-19) wouldn’t even let me report something lost or stolen. I was beside myself. After all, I’d just heard the story from Mr. Abagnale about the woman whose life was turned upside down when her personal information was stolen.
After just two hours of sleep mentally going through every single step I’d made since the last time I knew i had a wallet, I realized something….
….Back To The Story:
We went on a socially distanced picnic. Our car was parked nearby so we could see it, but of course, we were distracted.
The picnic was great. It was so great to see good friends.
We drove home. I didn’t open my purse again so I had not idea the wallet was missing.
At home again, in a panic, I covered every inch of my apartment, then spent hours and hours on the phone and online trying to cancel every account hat I could. Note that during Covid-19 there are few actual people you can speak to.
Online where I was referred most of the time, there was no way to report or cancel lost items. And, I had plenty of ID and other personal information in that wallet. Anyone who found it could possibly impersonate me!!!!!
Finally, I realized what had happened:
After NO sleep and a lot of mental anguish trying to retrace in my head, every step I might have taken, I began to realize what might have happened….
…Although I never leave my handbag in the car, I didn’t want to take it to the picnic. I figured that if I left my bag in the trunk, I wouldn’t hear it open, but I would hear it if someone broke a window. I put my wallet in the glove compartment.
...and that is where I found it.
Don’t’ take a purse or wallet with you if you’re “out and about.” Just take the minimum you need.
NEVER EVER EVER keep items in your wallet “just because” they have been in there for years.
Reduce the number of credit cards you carry.
Don’t keep any photos or personal information in a wallet unless you are going to need it.
If you feel confident in apps, use your phone and an app instead of carrying $$$
Secure your phone with a 2-part authentication. It might be an annoying extra step, but it’s important!
Losing something important and essential feel devastating. However, finding it feels amazing!