Items that do not belong in your Wallet
What Items not to Keep in Your Wallet
Losing a wallet or having a wallet stolen from you is not only a time-consuming and expensive activity, but it is also a leading cause of identity theft and personal fraud. Though, we have all lost our wallets at some point in our lives, some of us more times than once! So what are the items that do not belong in your wallet?
Considering all the personal information that is potentially concealed in your wallet, you are recommended to remove items such as: blank cheques, multiple credit cards, unused debit cards, gift cards, passwords, codes and PIN numbers, excessive cash, spare keys, USB drives, birth certificates, mobile phones, passports, receipts, private health care cards, Medicare cards, and sentimental items that cannot be replaced.
Identity crime including identity fabrication, identity manipulation and identity theft, costs Australia upwards of $1.6 billion each year with the majority (around $900m) lost by individuals through credit card fraud, identity theft and scams, as reported by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
In the case that a criminal may get hold of your wallet, they can use the information it holds to apply for a credit card, open a bank account, apply for financial services, run up debts, apply for any benefits, apply for a driving licence, register a vehicle, apply for a job, apply for a passport, apply for a mobile phone contract.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, card fraud in Australia doubled to $2.1 billion during 2014-15 from 2011 statistics after after over 1 million people experienced credit card fraud; with total out of pocket losses for citizens adding up to $84.8 million after reimbursements.
As reported by the AFP, the trouble for you is that if your card has been reported lost or stolen, you will usually not have to pay, unless it can be shown that you have acted fraudulently or without reasonable care, for example by keeping your PIN number written down with your card.
Change your Behaviour and Avoid Losses
If you ever lose your wallet or have your wallet stolen from you, the first thing to do is to call the police and report the incident. By filing a report, you will be able to prove that you are not responsible for the costs that are unrelated to your spending.
Next, it is recommended that you close your bank accounts, cancel your credit cards, let any relevant institutions of the incident, and keep an eye on your account summaries for any unusual or suspicious activity in your bank account.
Apart from storing your items in secure storage, the first biggest change that you can make is a change to your behaviour. You can do this simply by being more careful or being more aware. It is also recommended that you be more apprehensive about what you store in your wallet and make changes to your payment methods.
On the other hand, when it comes to the items that don’t belong in your wallet, most institutions have digital records of their client’s details and wouldn’t require you to produce the physical document on the spot. With regards to card fraud, there are options such as e-Wallets that protect your pocket from credit card skimmers.
When it comes to highly important documents such as deeds, birth certificates, password sheets, passports and medical cards, it is recommended that you keep an inventory of these items and ultimately store them in a secure manner, such as in a safe deposit box facility.
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