No one likes to think about becoming the victim of a crime, but a simple theft can result in a major money hassle. And in some cases, it could even lead to identity theft, which can cause you problems for a very long time!
Throughout the holiday season, thieves and scammers are working overtime to try to steal any and everything they can from you! So especially this time of year, it’s a good idea to keep an extra close eye on your personal information.
Read more: Beware of fake shopping apps
Never keep these things in your wallet or purse
Years ago, someone broke into my locked gym locker and stole my wallet — which had cash, credit cards and my license in it. Before my workout was complete, the thief went on a shopping spree.
When I called my credit card companies to report the stolen cards, I found out the thief had charged more than $2,000 at nearby big-box stores in less than 30 minutes.
I learned a few things from this experience, like to never leave my wallet in a gym locker.
But other than that, I wanted to create a more organized system to make it easier to react to this type of a situation in the future.
So I wrote down a list of the cards in my wallet and the customer service numbers. Now, I store this list at home with other sensitive materials so that I can access it if my wallet is ever stolen again.
Read more: 9 places to never use a debit card
5 things to leave at home in a safe place
There are five things you should never keep in your wallet to protect your personal information — and your identity:
- Social Security card
- Birth certificate
- Blank checks
- Password cheat sheets
- Too many credit cards
While it’s probably less likely to keep a loose spare key in your wallet or purse, that’s something to think about as well. Using the address on your license, the thief could easily gain access to your home.
Read more: How to create a strong password that you can actually remember