10 Worst Things to Carry in Your Wallet
With identity theft rampant, keep only the essentials in your pocket or purse when traveling the world or just going to the grocery store!
At Senior Travel we advise our clients when they travel to take only the essential credit cards and emergency info cards with them. Over the years I have seen some great tragedies that my senior clients tell me about the theft of their wallet, money, room keys, passports etc. When you travel you want to have a great time and not worry about identify theft or any type of theft to you
In an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry’s neurotic friend George Costanza has so much stuff jam-packed into his wallet that it’s ridiculed as a “filing cabinet.” Walking down the street, Costanza the pack rat tries to stuff one more thing inside, and the billfold explodes, scattering its contents to the wind.
The lessons of the old sitcom remain timely in an era in which identity theft is epidemic: Identity fraud cost 40 million Americans a combined $43 billion in 2022, according to an AARP-sponsored report from Javelin Strategy & Research.
Thieves could take more than the cash in your wallet; they could profit from your stolen information like your driver’s license and used it to withdraw $15,000 from your ATM account. We all think we are being careful, but it takes one second for a criminal to steal our wallet or purse,” says AARP’s Amy Nofziger, who oversees its Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR WALLET SAFE
Your wallet can be leaner — and to cybercrooks, meaner. Many of the informational items we once carried can be accessed on our smartphones, including digital wallets that contain digital versions of your credit and debit cards. Apple, Samsung and Google offer mobile payment services.
Take everything out of your wallet and sort it all, with an eye to eliminating most of the items. Remove old receipts, shopping lists, business cards, single-store credit cards that rarely get used, coffee shop punch cards that you’ll likely never fill up, and so on. If it’s not something you’ll need often or in an emergency, keep it at home or in your car.
Create a safe and secure storage system at home or in your car for those items that you may use from time to time, but do not want to carry in your wallet. You can put extra cash there, too. Grab cards or items when needed, and when done with your errand, return the cards to their secure spot.
THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T KEEP IN YOUR WALLET
Here are the 10 things you should remove from your wallet and store in a safe place, depending on how often you need to access them:
Social Security card. You do not need it for daily use, and criminals could use it to open lines of credit in your name or sell it to another criminal.
Multiple credit cards and credit card receipts. Choose one credit card and one debit card you wish to use most of the time and leave the others at home. Multiple credit cards are a gold mine for criminals. They can easily charge items online or send runners to different stores.
Checkbook, or even one blank check. The days when you might need one for a purchase are mostly in the past. You may never write a check again?
Work ID card.
Passport or passport card.
List of your passwords.
Gift card not fully redeemed.
Library card. It sounds benign, but a crook can always check out lots of books and sell them for a buck or two apiece. It happens all the time!
House key. Thieves could find your address from the contents of a stolen wallet.
For any time of travel information local or worldwide please call Chris at Senior Travel: 818-430-1480