We use our wallet even more than our keys, so keeping track of its location all the time is a challenge and it’s one we have to take on daily.
It only takes a moment of distraction to lose your wallet, so it’s no wonder thousands of them are lost each year.
How many wallets are lost or stolen each year?
If you’ve ever reached into your pocket, only to find your wallet isn’t there, you’re not the only one.
According to a survey by MoneyTips, 62% of the people who responded to their survey have had their wallets lost or stolen.
Have you ever lost or had your wallet, purse, pocketbook or money clip stolen?
What to do when you lose your wallet
First, make sure your wallet is really lost and not just misplaced.
Did you check the spaces between your car seats and in your gym bag? Have you tried those spaces in the corners of your couch?
Before you start cancelling your credit cards and filing reports with the authorities, make sure you checked every odd place around your home where your wallet could be stuck.
If your still can't find your wallet, here are the steps you need to take to make sure no one can take advantage of your personal information or credit cards:
1. File a police report
An official report stating that your wallet was lost or stolen will come in handy when dealing with your bank and it will also prove your documents were missing in case of identity theft or fraud.
2. Call your bank
Cancel your debit and credit cards to prevent any possible fraudulent charges. Before you call, check your accounts and make sure that no purchases have been made since you lost your wallet. If you see any suspicious charges, report them to your bank immediately for dispute.
3. Get a new driver’s license and social security card
It’s a nightmare but do this as soon as possible, as you’re likely to need at least one document in the near future, especially when dealing with banks about your new credit cards.
4. Make a list of everything that was in your wallet
Credit cards and IDs aren’t the only ones that contain your information. In some cases, even loyalty cards can enable someone to access your personal or bank information.
A lost wallet can still be returned
If you lost your wallet, don’t despair. Chances of it being returned are probably higher than you think. Here's how you can increase your chances of having your wallet returned:
The amount of money matters
Researchers conducted a three-year-long study in 40 different countries that involved several thousand people and found that people are more likely to return a lost wallet if there’s money inside.
In total, 17,303 wallets were ‘lost’ in 355 different cities and potential finders were given 100 days to return it.
More than half of the wallets with money in them were returned. Even more surprisingly, the more money was left in the wallet, the greater the chance it was returned.
• 61% of wallets with 14$ in them were returned
• 72% of wallets with 95$ in them were returned
Wallets with no cash in them had about 40% chance of being returned.
The 200 wallet test
Mark Rober conducted his own experiment after he lost his own wallet and it was never returned. He randomly dropped 200 wallets in 10 different cities in the US, to see how many of them would be returned.
After 3 days, more than 60% of the wallets he 'lost' were returned, and most of them even still had the money inside.
Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire in Scotland put different pictures of babies, puppies, families and an older couple in 240 wallets, then ‘lost’ them all over Edinburgh to see how likely they were to be returned.
- 88% of the wallets with a baby picture in them were returned
- 53% of the wallets with puppy pictures were returned
- 48% of wallets with family were returned
- only 28% of wallets with a picture of an older couple were returned
It turns out people, in general, are more honest than we give them credit for, especially when we add a personal touch to our wallets.