Tips For Handling A Stolen Or Lost Wallet In Canada
If you keep losing your wallet or are worried about a stolen wallet there are things you can do to protect yourself.
You’ve lost your wallet, now what?
There are also things you can do if you find a stolen or lost wallet to helping return it to its rightful owner in Canada.
Lastly, if you’ve found yourself in the position of a 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
It was yesterday my wife and I were talking about her mother who has dementia and often leaves her purse unattended while shopping.
Thankfully, she has a caretaker with her who watches over here 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 has minimal amounts at all times.
I also believe the shock of her purse or wallet going missing would terrify her so it’s been a topic of discussion the past week at our house.
It’s never easy dealing with 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 and it gives theives ample opportunity to swipe your wallet or purse while you are shopping.
Some thieves work in pairs utilizing distraction theft which is 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 strap your purse into the baby seat of the shopping cart.
This is a sure-fire way to give yourself time to fight off the theif 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 happening often to yourself 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 if you carry a wallet and no purse the same rule applies to you.
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 the only identifcation you have in Canada.
Another tip is to always keep a record of all your identification so you have something to fall back on if you have a stolen or lost wallet.
I’ve put together a free printable for your budget binder or you can keep it in your safe at home so you have all the information handy just in case you have a lost wallet.
How To Handle A Stolen Or Lost Wallet
What happens when I lose my wallet?
When you have a lost wallet you need to act fast before the money starts dissapearing or appearing on your credit card statments.
Mrs CBB has had two stolen wallets in her time and the second one had all of her identification and many credit cards.
She realized right away that her wallet was stolen and frantically 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 was hardly able to talk or breath when calling her bank and credit card companies and it was difficult for customer service to assist her.
Sadly, with-in hours her credit cards were used multiple times but because she made the phone calls to report her lost wallet she didn’t have to pay for the purchases.
It’s important when applying for a Canadian credit card to ask whether you are covered in the event of fraudlent use of your card.
Below are important steps you should 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 of the places you were the day you realized your lost wallet and visit the places.
You never know if you dropped your wallet on the ground and it was handed into a business in the area.
I’ve 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 course of action is to call or visit places you were last at whether you used your wallet or not.
Visit or Phone Police (Do NOT dial 911)
If you have a stolen or lost wallet it’s important to contact your local police to see if it has been turned in.
At the same time, this step is important as it protects you in the event you become a victim of identity theft.
When you have a stolen or lost wallet where all of 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 that you contacted them in the event you need support.
Post On Lost and Found Group Boards/Forums
Social media has been a valuable tool for just about everyone from locating lost pets, people, keys and even lost wallets.
Post a lost wallet ad on Facebook in 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 it’s a good idea to seek public assistance.
I have a friend who left her wallet on a city bus and it was returned by the person who found it.
She posted the name of the person in a Facebook group and they were able to connect and bring 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.
If you are already noticing transactions on your credit card or have been notified it’s critical you contact the right people.
You should also order a copy of your free credit report to review everything to make sure it all 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 individiually.
I’d suggest going to a Canada Post head office if it is located in your city or makes a phone call to Canada Post to ask about your lost wallet.
Even if you just alert them by leaving your name and phone number at least they can contact you if your wallet is turned in.
Call Banks and Financial Institutions
If you had a debit card or banking information along with any cheques in your wallet you should contact your bank immediately.
Even if you didn’t and you are worried about someone getting acccess to your money I would just 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 on their end to protect your bank account.
Don’t be shy to alert any investment advisors as well because you never know what someone is capable of 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 who can put a stop on the card so no more transactions can happen.
It also protects the consumer from having to pay 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 it is lost, stolen or damaged from Service Ontario.
If you have a lost health card or other important government documents it’s important to report them immediately.
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 on you unless you are travelling 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 that has been provided by Canada Post for 30 years where they return wallets, keys and cell phones that have been lost and found.
Take it 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 owner of the wallet 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 then dropping it off to the police or into a mailbox works too.
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 who will alert the owner of the wallet that it has been found and called in.
They can’t return the wallet for you so this step could be used as a last resort.
Perhaps they can help you find the owner.
Document Important Information
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 of importance.
In the event you have a stolen or lost wallet you’ll be able to pull out the information that you need so you can contact the right people.
My wife said that when she was frantically trying to contact her credit card companies it took her a while to figure out who to call.
She had no list and was trying to remember what she even had in her wallet so she could begin.
You can edit and download the Word doc. from our Free Money Saving Tools Page.
Lost Wallet Apps To Slim Down Your Wallet
If you aren’t into the budget binder printout and photogopies you can also add lost wallet apps to your smart phone.
Personally, I’m not a fan just in case the app gets hacked or something happens however millions of people do 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.
Fid Me Wallet App
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, 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 adds, and allows you to sync your cards. All YOUR feedback is what allows to improve YOUR app! Don’t hesitate to contact us.
We have over 4 million Shoppers Drug Mart PC Optimum Points so having an app where we can store our loyalty cards is a great way to slim your wallet and protect your points.
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 in your phone! Get rid of the heavy wallet!
• Transfer your loyalty cards in your phone by simply scanning the barcode from the card or manually insert the code digits
• Get new loyalty cards by completing a few fields: First name, Last name.
Google Pay Wallet App
Google Pay is the fast, simple way to pay on sites, in apps, and in 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.
Apple Pay Wallet App
Apple Pay is easy and works with the Apple devices you use every day.
You can make secure purchases in stores, in apps and on 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
- Whenever you’re shopping, just pop-up your loyalty card’s barcode on your phone and have it scanned by the cashier to receive your points.
- DISCOVER EXCLUSIVE OFFERS
- Browse coupons, discounts, flyers and catalogues in Stocard – all related to your favourite stores!
- CARDS IN WALLET
- Add any card in Stocard with a QR code to Wallet.
Lastly, if you kept a spare key for your house, car or anything else make sure you change the locks.
If the thief or someone who finds your wallet and wants to maliciously use your identification and credit 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 of them 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? Leave me your comments below as I’d love to hear your feedback.