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Eight Things to Do After Losing Your Wallet

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Losing your wallet or purse is stressful. Your money, credit cards, driver's license--all gone. Don't fret too much about tracking down contact information to close accounts and get things replaced. This to-do list from the Federal Citizen Information Center puts the answers you need all in one place:

1.  Make a list of what you had in your wallet and tackle the important things first.

2.  Immediately cancel all your credit and debit cards, letting your bank know that your wallet was lost or stolen. Request new copies of the card with a new account number.

3.  If you were the victim of theft, file a police report so there is an official record.

4.  Report a missing driver's license to your state's department of motor vehicles and request a new copy.

5.  Alert the fraud departments of the three major credit reporting companies. They will place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number, and you can request that they alert you before opening a line of credit in your name. (Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742; Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289)

6.  Request a replacement Social Security card and consider not carrying it in your wallet in the future.

7.  Contact either your company's HR department or your health insurance provider directly to get a replacement insurance card. If you've lost a Medicare card, contact the Social Security Administration to get a replacement.

8.  For other club membership, video rental and bonus club cards, you'll have to contact the each company individually. Use the directory on consumeraction.gov to get a direct line to consumer affairs or member relations departments.

Having your cards lost or stolen can be traumatic. But these tips from the Federal Citizen Information Center can help you recover. The only thing you'll have left to do is pick out a new wallet.

The Federal Citizen Information Center connects people with government benefits, services and information through its family of websites, including Pueblo.gsa.gov, USA.gov, GobiernoUSA.gov and ConsumerAction.gov; by phone at 1 (800) FED-INFO (that's 1 (800) 333-4636) and with publications by mail from Pueblo, Colorado. FCIC is part of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services.

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