What to do if you lose your wallet

Money By Timothy Nelson August 30, 2016

Losing your wallet is scary feeling, but there’s no reason to panic. If you keep a level head and take the right steps, you can get back on your feet in no time.

Here are five simple steps to take if you lose your wallet:


1. Cancel any debit or credit cards immediately

Losing your wallet means you may be susceptible to identity theft in near future. Call your bank immediately and cancel your credit or debit cards. The earlier you report it, the less likely you are to be liable for any charges made by an identity thief. Your bank will also know that you need new cards, meaning you’ll get access to your credit and checking accounts sooner.

2. File a police report

If your wallet was stolen, file a police report to alert the proper authorities. It won’t guarantee that your wallet will be recovered, but official documentation is required for insurance claims. Plus, the police will be able to get in touch if your wallet does turn up at some point.

3. If abroad, visit the local embassy or consulate

If you’re without your wallet in a foreign country, the local branch of the U.S. embassy or consulate can help sort things out. They’ll help you reach your emergency contacts, help you file a police report if you’re unfamiliar with the local language and customs, and provide temporary travel documents to make it back home.

4. Ask a friend or relative to transfer cash

It’s hard to get a hold of cash without your wallet, which can leave you stuck or in a bind. Our Money in Minutes transfer services can help you receive cash as soon as you need it. And you can pick up your cash at one of more than 500,000 Western Union agent locations worldwide or set up a mobile wallet to receive funds straight to your smartphone.

5. Protect yourself for the future

Finally, prepare yourself for the unfortunate circumstance that you lose your wallet again. Take scans or carry photocopies of important documents like your passport or driver’s license so you can prove your identity in a pinch. There are also plenty of identity theft protection services to help protect you from fraud both off and online in case you find yourself without a wallet again in the future.