The best way to lose money and your identity is to ignore a lost wallet or purse. If your wallet or purse containing credit or debit cards is misplaced or stolen, do not worry about it. There is no reason to immediately contact the banks who issued the cards and ask them to close the accounts or, at least those cards. Your maximum liability if you turn in the loss or theft is probably $50. You want to pay more right?
Another popular choice is the easily identified password or pin like your date of birth, mother’s maiden name, or consecutive numbers (1, 2, 3, 4…). Keep it simple…for you, not everyone else.
My favorite? Never check your credit report! I am sure you take regular steps to safeguard your information, so no one will get a hold of it. You always shred your personal information, you never talk in public on a cell phone, you’ve never let your credit card out of your sight (not even when you are paying the waiter) – you’ve got it covered! Just in case curiosity gets the better of you, check out www.annualcreditreport.com.
When someone emails you asking for your personal information, give it to them. If the email says it’s your bank, then it must be safe right? It really isn’t hard to make an email look like it is coming from someone you trust. Do not follow the links in emails. Go directly to your banks website by typing it into the address bar, or better yet, call them.
Back to the lost wallet or purse, if your identification was in there, spend some sleepless nights worrying about what is happening with your information, or take action! Contact the agency that issued the identification and follow the procedures for cancelling the documents and getting a replacement. You may also ask them to flag your file so that no one else can obtain a license or other identification in your name.