Have you ever reached for your wallet in your pocket only to discover it's gone? The thought alone is enough to give you panic attacks. In reality, your wallet can be your go-to personal effect when paying for groceries or be your worst nightmare if it goes missing. Thieves always lurk around to steal wallets from vulnerable people, and they use what you keep in there to make your life nightmarish. Whether you've lost your wallet and crucial documents or want to take precautionary measures, knowing the 10 worst things that you can keep in your wallet can save you the heartache. Keep reading to find out.
10. Too much cash
Gone are the days when a wallet was a storage place for a lot of cash. If you're fond of doing so, know that you will be a magnet for a prospective mugger or pickpocket. According to BESTLIFE, stuffing cash in your wallet can be a convenient alternative for making payments if you have problems with your credit card but it has dire consequences. The best thing to do is put petty cash in your wallet and distribute the rest in your pockets, so no one can see how much you have.
9. Social security card
According to Discover, 16.7 million people reported up to $16.8 billion loss in identity fraud in 2017. Most victims reported they lost a lot of money when their wallets, which had their social security cards, got lost. The first thing a fraudster does with a social security card is request loans or credit cards in the victim's name. Also, they can claim a refund after filing tax through a lost social security card. Keep your card elsewhere other than your wallet to ensure you don't become part of the statistics.
8. Spare keys
Anyone can lose their spare keys, regardless of how careful they are. So, having a spare key is their only option should they lose the main one. However, most people think storing spare keys in their wallets is smart because it's easy to access. However, you risk welcoming thieves to your home if you lose your wallet containing your spare keys and ID. They can effortlessly trace where you live and use your keys to access your home. Even if a burglar doesn't have the time to access your home, you won't have peace of mind. You might spend hundreds of dollars hiring a locksmith to change the locks. In that case, keep your spare keys with a close friend instead.
While eChecks have revolutionized payment systems, some people still prefer paper checks. One thing with checks is they reveal a lot of information about your identity, including your home address, phone number, workplace, and email. The worst-case scenario is storing a blank check which a fraudster can easily use to siphon your hard-earned money. You're better off carrying checks you might need for the day and leaving the checkbook at home.
It's hard to imagine that you can store your passport in your wallet. It makes sense if you travel abroad more often. If you lose your wallet containing your passport, it's easy for a fraudster to steal your identity and use it to travel. Your ID and license are enough if you're traveling within the US. Leave your passport at your house. But if you're abroad, leave it in your hotel room and carry its photocopy.
5. Multiple credit cards
Your wallet is the best storage place for your multiple credit cards, but it makes perfect bait for thieves. The more cards you carry, the more you make yourself accessible to fraudsters. While you might be doing it to show people that you have money, it's pointless to have a credit card you ever use. Doing so adds to your available credit, affecting your credit rating.
4. Old receipts
According to Scribd, old receipts reveal too much information than you imagine. A fraudster can easily figure out your identity through the last five digits of your credit card and merchant information through the receipts. Remember, your name is also on the receipt, making their work easier. The best safety measure is to remove those receipts and burn or shred them. Alternatively, ask the merchant to send you a digital receipt.
3. Password cheat sheet
Cramming passwords can be a daunting exercise, and not everyone is gifted to achieve it. If you're in the latter category, you might be tempted to write your password down on paper and store it in your wallet so you don't have to worry about cramming it. However, a lost wallet is the easiest bait for fraudsters because they have your PINs and passwords in the palm of their hands. A cheat sheet can be the stepping stone for hackers to access your online accounts if they have your password. To avoid that, get a password manager website to gatekeep your passwords online. Also, avoid it having knowledge-focused authentication questions in your wallet.
2. Multiple gift cards
A gift card is a surefire way to know you will get something good after purchasing from a retailer for a specific period. However, it doesn't often happen, which doesn't make sense why you should store it in your wallet. Instead of putting it in your wallet, how about leaving it at home until you're sure you will go to that destination?
1. Birth certificate
One of the crucial documents most people use to obtain a mortgage closing is a birth certificate. So, carrying it in their wallets seems like a convenient idea. While your birth certificate might not get anyone far, it is a sensitive document that can lead to identity fraud. It worsens when your wallet also has your social security card and passport. Unless you have special reasons for carrying it, better leave it at home for your peace of mind.
These ten crucial documents and items don't need a space in your wallet unless you have a demanding appointment to attend to. Therefore, prevent yourself from identity fraud and other thievery antics by keeping them at home or anywhere else that seems less attractive to thieves.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee