Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
If you keep losing your wallet or are worried about a stolen wallet, there are things you can do to protect yourself.
Table of contents
- Tips For Handling A Stolen Or Lost Wallet In Canada
- Lost Wallet Panic
- Thieves Are Watching You
- Protecting Your Wallet
- Remove Important Documents
- How To Handle A Stolen Or Lost Wallet
- Back-Track Your Steps
- Visit or Phone The Police (Do NOT dial 911)
- Post On Lost and Found Group Boards/Forums
- Alert Credit Bureaus
- Call Canada Post
- Call Banks and Financial Institutions
- Contact Credit Card Companies
- Replacing Government Identification
- Finding A Lost Wallet
- Take A Lost Wallet To The Police
- Look For The Owner’s Phone Number Or Address
- Call or Contact Bank or Credit Card Company
- Document Important Information
- Lost Wallet Apps To Slim Down Your Wallet
- Use The Fid Me Wallet App
- Use A Virtual Cards Wallet App
- Explore The Google Pay Wallet App
- Load The Apple Pay Wallet App
- Sto Cards Wallet App
- Replace Locks
- Subscribe To Canadian Budget Binder
Tips For Handling A Stolen Or Lost Wallet In Canada
You’ve lost your wallet; now what?
You can also do things if you find a stolen or lost wallet to helping return it to its rightful owner in Canada.
Lastly, if you’ve found yourself having a stolen or lost wallet, there are steps you should follow to alert the right people.
Identity theft, lost or stolen cash, and racking up debt on your credit cards can cause anyone’s stress levels to balloon out of control.
Perhaps you’re like me and have had a lost wallet, or even worse; someone has stolen your wallet or purse; you know the feeling I’m talking about.
Lost Wallet Panic
Yesterday my wife and I talked about her mother, who has dementia and often leaves her purse unattended while shopping.
Thankfully, she has a caretaker with her who watches over her, but she is not always with her, which concerns us.
Not so much about credit cards because she doesn’t have them, but more so for cash, even though she always has minimal amounts.
I also believe the shock of her missing purse or wallet would terrify her, so it’s been a topic of discussion the past week at our house.
It’s never easy dealing with the theft of any description, whether it be from home or personal property, because it’s an invasion that haunts you for life.
Thieves Are Watching You
She’s not the only person who does this, giving thieves ample opportunity to swipe their wallets or purse while shopping.
Some thieves work in pairs utilizing distraction theft, an easy technique where someone will talk to you while an accomplice does the dirty work.
Try to refrain from doing this even if you think you are watching your purse or strapping your purse into the baby seat of the shopping cart.
This is a surefire way to give yourself time to fight off the thief or deter them if they try and grab your purse.
Protecting Your Wallet
- Where did I put my wallet?
- I always lose my wallet.
If you find the above two statements often happening to you, perhaps it’s time to take a few steps to protect your wallet.
Men, keep your wallet in your front pocket as thieves always aim for the back pocket and unzipped pockets in jackets or blazers.
Ladies, the same rule applies to you if you carry a wallet and no purse.
Keep your wallet somewhere close to you, so you feel anyone trying to swipe it gain access to it without your knowledge.
My wife rarely carries a purse and only her wallet, and she’s left it on a shelf and counter at the shopping mall a few times.
Remove Important Documents
Leave your Social Insurance Number (SIN) card at home because the last thing you want to deal with is identity theft, and once thieves have your SIN number, anything can happen.
You won’t need to carry your passport, permanent resident’s card, or birth certificate unless it is your only identification in Canada.
Another tip is to keep a record of all your identification so you have something to fall back on if you have a stolen or lost wallet.
How To Handle A Stolen Or Lost Wallet
What happens when I lose my wallet?
When you have a lost wallet, you must act fast before the money disappears or appears on your credit card statements.
Mrs. CBB has had two stolen wallets over the years; the second had all her identification and many credit cards.
She immediately realized that her wallet had been stolen and started making phone calls.
Tip one from my wife is to calm down, as it won’t help you get your wallet back any faster.
She could hardly talk or breathe when calling her bank and credit card companies, and it was difficult for customer service to assist her.
Sadly, within hours her credit cards were used multiple times, but she didn’t have to pay for the purchases because she made the phone calls to report her lost wallet.
When applying for a Canadian credit card, ask whether you are covered in the event of fraudulent card use.
Below are essential steps to take if you have a stolen or lost wallet in Canada.
- How can I find my lost wallet?
- What do you do if you lose your wallet?
Back-Track Your Steps
Think back to all the places you were in the day you realized you lost your wallet and visited the places.
You never know if you dropped your wallet on the ground and it was handed into a business in the area.
I left my wallet and credit card on the counter of a business I was shopping at, and they put it in a lost and found drawer.
They won’t always call you to let you know that you’ve left your wallet, purse, or identification because there may be no contact information available to them.
Your best action is to call or visit places you were last at, whether you used your wallet or not.
Visit or Phone The Police (Do NOT dial 911)
If you have a stolen or lost wallet, contact your local police to see if it has been turned in.
At the same time, this step is important as it protects you if you become a victim of identity theft.
When you have a stolen or lost wallet where all your valuable identification is stolen, you are now a prime target for identity theft.
Creating a police report alerts the authorities and keeps a record of contacting them in case you need support.
Post On Lost and Found Group Boards/Forums
Social media has been a valuable tool for everyone, from locating lost pets, people, keys, and wallets.
Post a lost wallet ad on Facebook on community pages to alert people in the area that you are missing your wallet.
Whether it was stolen, lost, or you may have left it somewhere, seeking public assistance is a good idea.
I have a friend who left her wallet on a city bus, which was returned by the person who found it.
She posted the person’s name in a Facebook group, and they connected and brought the wallet back to the rightful owner.
The bus passenger could have also handed the lost wallet to the bus driver, as the owner likely would contact the bus terminal.
Alert Credit Bureaus
I would contact Equifax and Trans Union to let them know you have a stolen or lost wallet so they can put a fraud alert on your file.
Letting them know this information protects you from having someone steal your identity, causing further problems.
You must contact the right people if you are already noticing transactions on your credit card or have been notified.
You should also order a copy of your free credit report to review everything to ensure it belongs to you.
Correspondence in English:
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
3115 Harvester Road,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8
Correspondence in French:
Consumer Relations Centre
3115 Chemin Harvester,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8
Equifax Credit Information Services
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 190 Jean Talon
Call Canada Post
There are Canada Post outlet stores in just about every city and town and multiple shops, so it may be tough to visit each one individually.
I’d suggest going to a Canada Post head office if it is located in your city or making a phone call to Canada Post to ask about your lost wallet.
At least alert them by leaving your name and phone number; they can contact you if your wallet is turned in.
Call Banks and Financial Institutions
You should contact your bank immediately if you had a debit card or banking information along with any cheques in your wallet.
Even if you didn’t, and you are worried about someone getting access to your money, I would call to have them put a note on your account that your wallet was lost.
This alerts the bank to a possible fraud that could happen so they can take measures to protect your bank account.
Don’t be shy to alert any investment advisors because you never know what someone can do if they have your identification.
Contact Credit Card Companies
If you have a handy list of all the credit cards you had in your lost wallet, now is the time to start making phone calls.
On the back of your credit card, there should be a toll-free number to call so you can report a lost or stolen credit card.
By doing this, you alert the credit card company and can stop the card so no more transactions can happen.
It also protects the consumer from paying further if the credit card company doesn’t remove the charges.
Most will if you let them know.
Replacing Government Identification
Do I need to report a lost driver’s licence?
Yes, you should report a lost Ontario driver’s licence to the Ministry of Transportation and, at the same time, get a replacement.
The cost to replace your Ontario Driver’s Licence is $35.75, whether lost, stolen, or damaged from Service Ontario.
Note: The pricing may have changed based on the time you read this blog post.
You must immediately report if you have a lost health card or other important government documents.
While you are at Service Ontario, you can also replace lost, stolen, or damaged government-issued identification cards such as;
- Ontario Health Card
- Enhanced Driver’s Licence
- Ontario Photo Card
- Birth Certificate
You should never carry your birth certificate unless you travel out of the country where you will need it.
For all other government identification such as Social Insurance Number, Citizenship certificate or Passport you will need to visit the ServiceCanada website.
Finding A Lost Wallet
Can you put a lost wallet in a mailbox?
You can drop a lost wallet into a Canada Post mailbox or bring it to a Canada Post Office counter, and they will have the wallet returned free of charge.
According to a Toronto City News article, this is a service provided by Canada Post for 30 years, where they return wallets, keys, and cell phones that have been lost and found.
Take A Lost Wallet To The Police
If you find a lost wallet, take it to the police station and drop it off at the front desk.
The police will do their best to contact the wallet’s owner so it gets returned promptly.
Look For The Owner’s Phone Number Or Address
Be a snoop and see if you can locate a phone number in the wallet and possibly locate the owner yourself.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, dropping it off at the police or a mailbox also works.
Call or Contact Bank or Credit Card Company
You could also call the number on the back of a credit card to report the credit card as found.
This will alert the credit card company, alerting the wallet’s owner that it has been found and called in.
They can’t return your wallet, so that this step could be used as a last resort.
Perhaps they can help you find the owner.
Document Important InformationIdentification For Lost Wallet
We have a fireproof safe in our house where we keep important documents, and one of them is a printout of all our credit card numbers and other government identification.
You’ll also find photocopies of our social insurance card, credit cards, passport, birth certificate, and anything else necessary.
If you have a stolen or lost wallet, you can pull out the information you need to contact the right people.
My wife said that it took her a while to figure out who to call when she was frantically trying to contact her credit card companies.
She had no list and was trying to remember what she had in her wallet.
You can edit and download the Word doc. from our Free Money Saving Tools Page.
Lost Wallet Apps To Slim Down Your Wallet
You can add lost wallet apps to your smartphone if you aren’t into the budget binder printout and photocopies.
I’m not a fan, just in case the app gets hacked or something happens; however, millions of people love these apps for convenience.
Here are a few popular wallet apps where you can store cards and use them to pay for purchases or obtain rewards points.
Use The Fid Me Wallet App
FidMe (not an affiliate)
Innovative and easy to use: With FidMe, save your loyalty cards in seconds and add your favourite stores!
No more cluttered wallets, never forget your cards again, and finally, your brands and retailers’ cards in a single app!
Scan the code of your favourite retailer to get a stamp on your card! Use your mobile like a loyalty card in your favourite stores.
Check-in while you shop and win FidMe points.
FidMe is STILL free, with no ads, and allows you to sync your cards.
With over 4 million Shoppers Drug Mart PC Optimum Points, having an app where to store loyalty cards is a great way to slim a wallet and protect points.
Use A Virtual Cards Wallet App
Virtual Cards (you can store your loyalty card information on this app, so you don’t have to carry them in your wallet)
- Keep all your loyalty cards on your phone! Get rid of the heavy wallet!
- Transfer your loyalty cards to your phone by scanning the barcode or manually inserting the code digits.
- Get new loyalty cards by completing a few fields: First name, Last name.
Explore The Google Pay Wallet App
Google Pay is the fast, simple way to pay on sites, in apps, and stores using the cards saved to your Google Account.
It protects your payment info with multiple layers of security and makes it easy to send money, store tickets, or cash in on rewards – all from one convenient place.
Load The Apple Pay Wallet App
Apple Pay is easy and works with the Apple devices you use daily.
You can make secure purchases in stores, apps, and the web. Apple Pay is even simpler than using your physical card and safer too.
Sto Cards Wallet App
For Apple Users Only
- DIGITISE YOUR LOYALTY CARDS
- Unclutter your wallet by scanning the code on your plastic cards within seconds.
- COLLECT REWARDS POINTS IN STOCARD
- When shopping, pop up your loyalty card’s barcode on your phone and scan it by the cashier to receive your points.
- DISCOVER EXCLUSIVE OFFERS
- Browse coupons, discounts, flyers, and catalogues in Stocard related to your favourite stores!
- CARDS IN WALLET
- Add any card in Stocard with a QR code to Wallet.
Lastly, change the locks if you keep a spare key for your house, car, or anything else.
If the thief or someone finds your wallet and wants to use your identification and credit maliciously, they may come to visit your home with the key to see if it works.
They will most likely have your address, so get ahead and consider a MasterLock key lock box (we have this) or other options instead of carrying a spare on you.
Discussion: Have you ever had a lost or stolen wallet or purse?
Please leave your comments below, as I’d love your feedback.