Thursday, November 4, 2010

Getting Financially Organized: Record the contents of your wallet

What would you do if your wallet or purse was stolen?  A photocopy of your cards and I.D. you usually carry will help you get them replaced quickly. This way you'll know which credit and debit cards to cancel.  Don't forget the seemingly insignificant items like membership or rewards cards. After a theft, you might not know what you're missing, and the terms and conditions may require you to report a lost or stolen card as soon as possible.

It's important to notify your credit-card companies and bank immediately and to monitor your accounts for fraudulent charges. Also watch your credit reports to make sure that an ID thief doesn't open new accounts in your name. The best way to do that is to contact the credit bureaus to make a fraud alert, which will require lenders to make some effort to verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name.  But just remember that an initial fraud alert only lasts for 90 days.  For a small monthly fee you can enroll in a credit monitoring program.

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