Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Theft-Proof Your Wallet Today!

I've been travelling the country a lot lately, visiting friends as well as universities. One thing I am always very paranoid of is pickpockets/muggers. (Mainly instilled in me by my father, who insisted I wouldn't make it through a year living in London because I have no common sense!) That's why today's article by Donna Freedman on Get Rich Slowly really struck a nerve with me.

Donna was the unfortunate victim of three cowardly muggers whilst travelling. She spent the next few days trying to remember (and cancel) all of the credit/debit cards, loyalty cards, rewards cards, store cards, etc., as well as all the possible sources of identity theft.

Somewhat more organised than myself, Donna had a list of everything in her wallet back at home, with all the phone numbers she would need to cancel the cards and protect her identity as well as her bank account.

I decided to give this “wallet audit” a go, so that in the event of theft I can immediately cancel everything and limit the damage done. I wrote down the emergency phone numbers of everything in there, so it's a simple case of following a pre-written plan should anything happen.

Side note! This is also handy to get rid of random stuff that is no longer useful; old Tesco and Sainsbury's vouchers, lots of out of date loyalty cards, etc.

To be honest, I would not fret too much over losing most of the things in my wallet. I guess the three most problematic things would be my bank cards, credit card and driving license. It's good to know I know have a back-up plan, available online ready to use if needed! :)

Mainly for my own benefit: 
What's in My Wallet?
  • 2 x debit cards for my bank accounts (If you are with Natwest the number is 0870 600 0459, and the Emergency Cash service is the same number).
  • Student credit card (as above)
  • Driving license – UK photocard holders can ring 0300 790 6801, but I was shocked to see that there is a £20 fee for replacing it!
  • AA card - 08705 444 444
  • Tesco Clubcard - 0800 591 688
  • Nectar card – 0844 8110 811
  • Shell Drivers Club card - 08459 006 008 – Wouldn't be so bad if thieves racked up some points I guess!
  • Starbucks card - 020 8834 5050
  • Waterstones card – 0800 328 5723
  • Eden Project Pass - 01726 811911
  • National Insurance Number card - 0845 915 7006. I have taken this out of my wallet now. There's no need to carry it and if it's stolen you would have to get a new NI number! Hassle!!

Extras I have when travelling:
  • Oyster card (for travelling around London) - 0845 330 9876. If you have registered your card online your balance should be able to be transferred to a new card
  • Rail card - 08448 714 036. If card is lost, a replacement fee of £5 applies, if stolen you can provide a crime reference number and your card will be replaced for free.
  • European Health Insurance card - 0845 606 2030
  • Passport - 0300 222 0000

What's in your wallet? Do you know without looking? :)


Meanqueen said...

Yes, I know what's in my purse, I don't have a wallet, the bare minimum. A bank debit card for withdrawing cash out of the bank, or cashback at the supermarket. A credit card which is also a Tesco clubcard. Bus Pass. Those three things always stay in my purse. Ocassionally I might put in my library card or phone top up card.

Not sure why you carry your driving licence, is there any reason why you need it?

Bryallen said...

I carry my driving license because it is a photographic one, and is a good proof of age. Most places have a challenge 25 policy (If you look under 25 you will get challenged for ID) and even to get into some pubs you need to prove you are over 18!

Not that I'm off down the pub every night, but I've even been ID'd whilst shopping with my parents, in case they were buying alcohol for an underage person. Absolutely ridiculous, considering the law states that children as young as 5 can have alcohol in a private house. (FIVE?!?!)

skipandscatter said...

Hmmm... let's see. I have a debit card, a credit card, driver's license, medicare card, and library card. Oh, and cash. :)

This is a good topic. My wallet got stolen in Barcelona a couple of years ago. This happened on day two of a four-month stay in the city. Not the most positive way to start life in a new city, but it was a good wake-up call. On a side note, I loved living in Barcelona and felt very safe there at all times.
Anyhow, what this has taught me is to not carry things you don't need at the moment. For instance, I had to replace my student ID card (25$, ladies and gentlemen) when I absolutely didn't need it there and then. Once the panic phase was over and I called up everywhere that needed to ba called and got over the fact that I would need to replace everything, I was mostly sad about loosing my boyfriend's photo that I kept in there. Plus, doesn't it just give you the creeps knowing someone is going through your stuff and looking at your pictures/personal info? Eeck.

Frugal Living UK said...

What an interesting post, I would not know where to start if my wallet were stolen. I know the bank cards, although I don't know the numbers to call, and driving licence. I guess library cards (although not sure most thief's use the library - or is that me being unfair?) Besides that I can't think what is in there. I like your idea and will endeavour to do something like it.

saving for travel said...

Very good advice and I shall get on to it!

Sft x