I’m filing this under both “Things That Suck” and “Things That Are Cool”, because it sucks to lose your wallet. But it’s cool to have someone return it to you afterwards.
Last Saturday evening, my wallet was lost. I won’t get into the details of how, because I’m only slightly responsible for the loss, and the person who’s primarily responsible feels very badly about it. Anyhow, I cancelled the credit card right away. This was a good thing because shortly afterwards, it was tested for effectiveness in a parking meter, as the folks at the credit card company told me afterwards.
The list of things to do when you lose your wallet is lengthy:
- Call the credit card company/companies, cancel the card(s). Don’t just put a hold on it, even if you hope to find it. I found out that some people purposely return the card so you don’t cancel it, then ding you with a big purchase later on when you least expect it. This step is important, but means you’ll have to wait 5-10 days for your new card to arrive, then phone all the companies who regularly bill your card to give them the new number.
- Call the bank, cancel the bank card.
- Call the cops and report it, or you can’t get your driver’s license replaced.
- Call Equifax and Trans-Union, the credit bureaus, to have an “alert” put on the credit report. This means anyone, including myself, who attempts to apply for a loan in my name, will have a hard time about it for the next 5 years. I found out after doing this that I can’t do things like get my line of credit increased over the phone until the alert comes off. I’m going to have to get acquainted with the folks at my bank branch.
- Phone OHIP for a new health card.
- When I was a young adventurer with a motorbike, I rode to Detroit on a whim one day, and I got a hard time at the border because I had no proof of citizenship. Shortly afterwards, I ordered the card version of my birth certificate, and I’ve been carrying it in my wallet ever since, in case I ever travel to the US on a whim again. Well, I got old and that only happened once afterwards, and now I always plan my trips and bring my passport for those. All this to say that I needlessly lost my birth certificate when my wallet went missing, so I was without any valid ID. (Ironically, my passport expired a week or so ago.) I got my parents to Express Post me the copy of my birth certificate that they had so I could start renewing my identity.
- Get your employer to cancel your old access card and issue you a new one.
- Order new a new employee health benefit card.
- Visit the MTO for a replacement driver’s license. Don’t do like I did and also keep your vehicle ownerships in your wallet, ’cause you’d need to replace this too. The cop I spoke to said all you need to have with you when you drive is a two-sided photocopy of the vehicle ownership, so you can keep the originals in a safe place.
- Try and remember the multitude of membership cards, loyalty cards, ID cards you had in there and phone the various organizations to get new ones replaced. I had something like 10 of these.
Well, I had worked my way down to number 7 on the list by the time I got home from work today. When I did, Claire told me a guy had phoned saying he had found my wallet and was willing to meet me at a bar near where it had been lost. Claire and I used to frequent this place, and I had actually asked them a couple of days ago if anyone there had seen the wallet. This helped when the guy showed up today and showed them my driver’s license picture. They recognized me, gave him my phone number (yes, we were regulars at this bar) and that’s how we connected.
Amazingly, the wallet had all the cards in it. They had been removed one-by-one from the card pockets and replaced where the cash had been. My $80 was gone, but I was getting back waaaaaaaaaay more than I had expected, considering I didn’t plan to ever see my wallet again. He said he’d found the wallet in the entrance to a grungy drug store near the bar where junkies hang out.
Overall, I’m very lucky. Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to not be able to withdraw cash ’til I can visit a branch, but I don’t have to spend hours getting new cards for Air Miles, Aeroplan, Shoppers Optimum, Rogers Video, etc. When I phone the police to let them know I had located my wallet, the officer even told me I shouln’t need to visit the MTO anymore.
It’s great when people are honest and nice, eh?