Losing your wallet can be a nightmare. It’s never fun to misplace cash, let alone worry about replacing your driver’s license and credit cards. While wallets are designed to hold money, many also store personal items, such as passwords, receipts, and social security cards. However, if your wallet is misplaced or stolen, these items will make it easy for thieves to steal your identity. To help protect yourself, here are seven things you should never keep in your wallet.
Social Security Card
Your Social Security card contains sensitive personal information tied to everything from health insurance to tax returns. That’s why this card should be stashed away in a safe place and not in your wallet. If your Social Security number falls into the wrong hands, your identity could be stolen, leading to a myriad of problems. Instead, keep the card safely at home and memorize your Social Security number.
List of Passwords
We all forget our passwords and PINs from time to time, and writing them down in one place serves as a helpful reminder. However, don’t store this document in your wallet. If you lose your wallet, someone will have the key to your email, bank account, and other personal accounts. Keep your written passwords stored safely at home — or better yet, store passwords in an online database, such as 1Password.
Your birth certificate is one of the most relied-upon documents for verifying identity, so a wallet is not a good place to store it. If a pickpocket snatches your wallet and gains access to your birth certificate, they’re one step closer to stealing your identity. Since you don’t have to show your birth certificate often, keep it locked away in a safe at home and only take it out as needed.
Take caution when keeping checks in your wallet. If a wallet snatcher stumbles across a blank check, they can easily forge it to transfer money from your account to theirs. Be sure only to carry checks written out to a specific person.
The combination of a spare key and a driver’s license in your wallet can lead to unimaginable nightmares. If someone finds your license and house key, they know where you live and how to gain access. Avoid this problem by keeping your spare key in a safe location or with a trusted neighbor.
A Large Number of Credit Cards
Keeping credit cards in your wallet is par for the course. However, problems arise when you keep too many credit cards on you. If your wallet is stolen or misplaced and you have to cancel every credit card, it’s a big hassle. And if you can’t cancel the cards before charges are made, you’ll have the additional problem of disputing fraudulent charges. Make sure only to carry the credit cards you regularly use and keep secondary credit cards at home.
While you may think keeping receipts in your wallet is okay, cunning thieves can use the information to access your credit cards fraudulently. If a robber ends up with your receipts, they can easily figure out what stores you shop at and when you usually go. Once they have that information, a thief can use your credit cards to make seemingly legitimate purchases.
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