Every year millions of Americans see their money and personal information fall into the wrong hands, and the consequences can be devastating. In fact, an identity fraud study by Javelin Strategy & Research found that 16.7 million victims of identity fraud lost a total of $16.8 billion in 2017.
Identifying the things to never keep in your wallet is the first line of defense against theft and fraud. And let’s face it—when was the last time you reviewed the items in your wallet and cleaned out those that are not totally necessary? If you’re carrying around sensitive items in your wallet on the off chance you might need them one day, you could be asking for trouble.
A clean check is an invitation to clean out your bank account. Leave them at home, and if you have to carry a check, make sure it’s filled out before you step out the door.
Multiple Credit Cards
The more options you give yourself, the more debt you’re likely to rack up. The first cards to dump? Department stores and electronic shops. If you do need to make a purchase, most can look up your account info.
You’ll get over the loss of 50 bucks a whole lot quicker than $500. Try to limit the cash you carry only to what you’ll likely need that day.
Spare house keys are another item on the list of things to never keep in your wallet because they could be an invitation to crooks to steal more, Meiggs says. While you are searching for your missing wallet or filing a police report, thieves could be targeting your home. Plan to keep your spare keys with a trusted friend or relative to avoid putting your property and family at risk.
Social Security Card
Social security cards have a disclaimer at the bottom that the card should be kept in a safe place. This is because a social security number is the ultimate access point to an individual’s personal information. Instead of carrying your social security card in your wallet, consider hiding the card in a unique place instead. Because chances are, if you remember your social security number, there will be very few places you’ll be required to make use of a physical card.