Effective Sept. 21, 2018, security freezes and fraud alerts will change under a new federal law. Placing, temporarily lifting and removing security freezes is now free for consumers, and initial fraud alerts increased from 90 days to one year. For more information, please click here.
The contents of your wallet probably contain the information needed for most forms of identity theft. If you’re like most of us, your wallet is your key to everyday life – it contains your credit cards, debit cards, driver’s license, social security card, and more. It’s also your digital DNA. We carry this vault of critical information on our person throughout the day – so a lost wallet can be an extreme inconvenience, but having it stolen could be catastrophic.
Fortunately, you can minimize any impact of a loss and get back on track by acting quickly and notifying your financial institutions, state DMV, Social Security office, etc., as soon as possible after the loss was identified. Having your ID and credit cards cancelled and reissued as quickly as possible may help prevent identity theft. Many credit card institutions offer fraudulent charge protection – but it is crucial you let them know right away. In the event of a theft, you should also file a report with your local police department.
To help you act quickly, we suggest you create a list of your wallet’s contents (including account numbers and contact information) and keep them in a safe place (consider a fireproof lockbox in your home) for easy reference when you need it. Typically, this should list account and/or contact information for the following:
- Credit card(s)
- Debit card(s)/checkbook
- Driver’s License
- Social Security card
- Store Loyalty/Membership card(s)
- Library card
- Your local law enforcement agency
You can help prevent accounts getting opened in your name by placing a free 90-day fraud alert on your credit file. This prompts lenders to take additional steps to verify an applicant’s identity before extending credit.
For increased protection, you may also consider enrolling in a credit monitoring product that monitors your credit files – to help detect signs of identity theft. Many include additional identity protection features.
Equifax CompleteTM Premier subscribers can take advantage of the lost wallet protection feature. This benefit provides you with access to a specialist resolution team, who will help you work through the process of identifying what’s missing, how to cancel and recover your information, and can often handle many of the tasks on your behalf. If you become a victim of a wallet loss or theft, simply log into the Member Center and locate the Lost Wallet feature on the right hand side. Click Activate, and call the toll-free number presented to get immediately connected with our specialists.
Equifax Complete Premier also includes round the clock credit monitoring, plus automatic fraud alerts, ability to lock your Equifax Credit Report, scan the Internet for your personal information, and more.
Learn more about how to protect your identity and recover it in the event of a loss – with the Equifax Identity Theft kit.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.