Crippling panic. That’s probably the first thing you feel when you reach to pull out your wallet, and it’s not there.
You look on the floor, search through your purse or pocket, and realize it’s gone.
Your next thought is probably the laundry list of tasks you need to take care of now that your wallet is missing.
Keep a sliver of hope for your lost wallet in Canada. After all, Canadians often return wallets even if there’s money in them.
But if you’re wallet is gone for good, here are the next steps you should take.
7 Steps To Take After You Lose Your Wallet in Canada
1. Search Your Surrounding Area
Before you lose your cool, check the area around you. Maybe you just misplaced your wallet.
Do a thorough check of your car, office, purse, or anywhere else you’ve been. Ask friends, family, and coworkers if they’ve seen it or have them join in on the hunt.
2. Contact Your Bank About Your Debit Card
If all hope is lost and your wallet is gone, call up your bank first. Some big-name banks like Scotiabank, RBC, and CIBC have a locking feature you can access through their mobile app.
If you lose your card, you can immediately lock it down. If you happen to find it, it’s easy enough to unlock.
If you don’t have this feature, you’ll need to contact your bank’s customer service team and inform them of your bad fortune. They can promptly freeze your debit card or reissue a new card with a different account number.
While you’re on the phone with them, they may go over recent transactions to determine your last legitimate activity.
3. Call Your Credit Card Company and Notify the Credit Bureaus
Just like you need to contact your bank, you should also notify your credit card company.
If your credit card is linked to your bank, it will automatically get cancelled when you follow the above step. Otherwise, you’ll have to make a separate call to cancel your existing credit card.
In addition, contact the two credit bureaus used in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion. They can flag your profile if someone tries to use your information to apply for credit or services in your name.
Sign up for a free credit provider like Borrowell to make sure there isn’t any fraud on your account.
4. File a Police Report
You might think it’s extreme to file a police report – they probably have more important things to do, but it could come in handy in the future.
A police report can help you when dealing with your bank or credit card company, but most importantly, it proves your debit and credit cards were missing if you have to deal with identity theft or fraudulent charges.
5. Get a New License
Since your license was probably in your wallet, you’ll have to get a new one. This is one task that might be the biggest headache.
Hopefully, you have another form of ID to present – usually, you need something with your name, date of birth, and signature. Passports work, and sometimes, your province will accept your health card if you’re in a bind.
6. Make a List
Your credit and debit cards, along with your license, are the first things you think to replace.
However, you probably stored a lot of other important information in your wallet. Will you need to replace your health card? Did you keep your proof of auto insurance, gym membership, or library cards in your wallet?
Some items are more important than others but making a list will help you decide which items to replace first.
7. Make Copies of Your Documents
After you’ve followed the above steps and have retrieved replacement cards, the next move is to make copies and keep them in a safe spot.
If you ever lose or have your wallet stolen again, you’ll already have a list of account numbers to make the process less of a hassle.
How To Prevent Losing Your Wallet
There are certain steps you can take to avoid losing your wallet. For starters, if you’re concerned about thieves, you’ll want to keep your wallet close to your body.
That might mean a wallet chain or bag that is secured around you and not just hanging from your shoulders or in a back pocket.
If you tend to misplace your wallet, now is the perfect time to get organized. Clear out clutter from your home, office, and car, and you’ll immediately see a difference in your day-to-day life.
Some people find it helpful to use a phone case wallet. While this might be helpful if you’re scatterbrained, it could lead to even more problems if the entire case is stolen and your phone is with it.
On the other hand, investing in a wallet tracking device might solve your problems. Companies that sell the device usually use a chip or credit card-sized Bluetooth apparatus that you can tuck into your wallet that will connect with an app on your phone.
If you’re looking to invest in one of these trackers, check out these options.
Lost Wallet In Canada: The Bottom Line
Losing your wallet or having it stolen can ruin your day and leave you with a pile of phone calls and tasks to complete.
The above steps I outlined can help simplify this process and make a stressful situation a little less daunting.
Instead of keeping a bunch of cash in your wallet, try socking it away in a bank or investment portfolio.
Need help deciding where to invest? Check out my article on top investment opportunities.