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What not to carry in your wallet

Posted by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM
  • 4 Replies

I had an email from an insurance company that had this information:

1. Your Social Security card and anything with your Social Security number on it, which could include a Medicare card. While it may seem obvious this shouldn’t be in your wallet, if you haven’t looked recently, you may be surprised to find that your card is tucked away behind a rarely used library card or in a photo sleeve.

2. Spare house keys. If you keep a spare house key in your wallet, and you lose it along with anything that has your address on it, your home could be an easy target for burglars. This same concept applies to when you valet park your car. Do you give your house key to the valet along with your car key? If so, while you’re enjoying an evening out, your house key could be at the hardware store being copied. With your car’s registration and home address in the glove box you may have just opened the door for future problems.

3. Excess cash. While it may feel good to walk around with a full wallet, the easiest thing for a thief to use is cash. Limit the amount of cash you carry to what you think you’ll need while you’re out. Keep any extra cash securely locked away at home until you need it or, better yet, at the bank where it’s insured.

4. Multiple credit cards. Carry only the card or cards you really need each day. And make note of which one(s) you have with you. It’s bad enough to have one card stolen. But if you’re like many people who have up to seven cards in their wallet, imagine trying to remember what was in there and getting a hold of all the issuers to cancel those cards.

5. Gift cards. Unless you’re on the way to the store to redeem a gift card, there’s no reason for it to be in your wallet. Like cash, a gift card is easily redeemed and most places will accept it without any form of ID. Unless you get to the store before the thief with information that connects you to the gift card and let them know the card has been stolen, the chances of you getting that money back are virtually zero.

6. Password cheat sheet. On one hand it’s advisable to use a variety of passwords and change them often, on the other hand this makes them difficult to remember. Even so, if you choose to create a cheat sheet, never keep it in your wallet. When you give a thief your passwords, and they already have your complete name, address and possibly other personal information, you run the risk of having your online identity compromised.

7. Safety deposit box key. The only time you should carry your safety deposit box key with you is when you’re headed to the bank to access the vault. Once a thief has the key, other information in your wallet could lead them to your bank; for example, a bank issued credit card, ATM receipt or blank check. That, along with your driver’s license which may have your signature, could be enough for them to convince the vault manager that they’re you and gain access to the valuables you thought were safely locked up.

by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM
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Replies (1-4):
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 11:04 AM

 great info

by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Good advice I'll keep this in mind.   

by Platinum Member on Nov. 16, 2012 at 3:57 PM

No problem.  Wow, I wouldn't want to own 7 credit cards to carry around lol

by Barb on Nov. 16, 2012 at 3:58 PM

My husband had his pocket  picked in Brussels, he lost 3 credit cards as well as other IDs. I told him please don't carry more than one credit card, and never put your wallet in your back pocket!

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