Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stolen Wallet

This happened to one of my friends from Cali who was interning in D.C. She had no ID and no money for a while, it was really bad. I always hear people say the process to replace your IDs is the worst, usually credit card/atm cards are easy to deal with.

Well, so of course it happened to me too. And since I document everything remotely useful. Here are some useful tips.

1. Call Credit Card Company and Bank right away. Luckily I had their numbers in my phone's contacts. They will ask you a few questions and you can check to make sure there were no charges on the cards yet. They will send you replacement cards.
//My credit card rep said 3-5 days. I will need to re-do my automatic bill-payment link
//ATM cards takes 7-10 days. Direct deposits are not affected since they go to your account, not your ATM card..

2. Call 911 to file a police report for stolen wallet. Before the police arrive, try to remember what was in the wallet and estimated values. When the police arrive, they will compile the list and ask when/where it happened. Keep in mind they may have other urgent business before visiting you. I think I waited 2 hours. They apologized by saying it was a busy night (including a shooting). Then you will be directed to call a number for the complaint report number in a few days. This number is important for insurance/etc.

3. Hopefully you have some important ID doc with you at home (I have my passport) and some cash at home. If not, bring your checkbook to your bank and withdraw money as needed.

4. Start the process to replace things:

1) credit card/atm card: call for mail replacement
2) insurance card: you can request mail replacement through their website (or call)
3) driver's license: yes, I have to go to the DMV again (groan...). Make sure you check with their ID rules. With my passport and bank statement I should be ok. Get in line, bring a book, pay the replacement fee. Be ready to be treated like a criminal just like everyone else, never mind your wallet was stolen and it was not your fault. Everywhere else people were sympathetic, here don't expect anyone to care.
4) library cards: While J. snickers that thieves do not read, I recommend locking your account to prevent people from borrowing CD/DVDs (late fees for those are outrageous!). Then pay the replacement fee for a new card. One library in the suburbs didn't even charge me because it was stolen. They were supernice!
5) subway card: Since I didn't buy the monthly (which had insurance if you pay with credit card), I probably won't get anything.
6) train tickets: Supposely I would get some refund if I provide them with the police report number. Train people are really bad. I need to investigate this in more detail. my credit card company said I may be able to dispute it. (update: yay got my credit card dispute done with most recent unused train ticket, other train tickets with some punches are probably gone arg.)

Lessons Learned:
1. put wallet in either front pocket of pants or in the big compartment of your backpack with a lot of other stuff on top of it.
2. carry less cash unless you're going out to eat etc. cash isn't recoverable. it's much easier to carry credit card/atm and cancel them quickly. I'm officially adopting the "a Twenty is Plenty" slogon. Especially if you pay most things with credit card, why would you need that much money?
3. put less money on transit subway cards unless you buy monthly. leave train tickets at home if you're only using it on weekends.

Other sites (just googlged)


st2128 said...

Great job in dealing with your frustration by developing a resolution and preparedness plan for everyone else.

Stargazer said...

I`m sorry that happened to you. But I agree with Steph, thank you for telling us! I hope your class and the summer is going well for you.