In the summer of 2017, my family and I were headed to the beach for some much-needed rest and relaxation. We decided to drive overnight so the boys would sleep most of the way. Though stubbornly and miraculously, the one-year-old never closed his eyes. Somewhere in Georgia around 2:00 a.m., I filled up with gas and caffeine. Just as I was about to make another push down the road, I realized I didn’t have my wallet. This is not the best way to start a vacation but, fortunately, I knew what steps to take to keep my accounts safe.

Mistakes happen to everyone and they’re more common when we change up our routines. So, just in case you find yourself in a similar circumstance—say at one of the many Atlanta Speedways, digging through trashcans and looking for your lost wallet—I thought I’d share best practice tips.

If you lose or suspect your wallet was stolen:

1. Immediately log into your Independence Bank App and ‘turn off’ your debit card. The toggle is instantaneously effective. If you’re unable to access your app, contact us to report the incident. We can deactivate your card and issue a new debit card in real time at any of our locations.
2. Call and cancel any credit cards to ensure no fraudster takes advantage of your situation.
3. If you lost your checkbook, call the bank and setup a “Stop Pay” on the entire book of checks that has been lost or stolen.
4. Set up fraud alerts by contacting any major credit bureau. Identity thieves can use the information they find in your wallet to open new credit cards or even loans. By setting up a fraud alert, lenders and creditors must take extra measures to verify your identity.
5. Change passwords to all accounts with financial information. This would include email, bank, credit card, Apple, Amazon—any website that holds personal information and can transfer money or make purchases.
6. Make an appointment with the local DMV to get a new driver’s license.
7. Contact your insurance companies and any other entities in which you may have lost a membership card.
8. Review any auto-pay services in the case that a card number has changed so you can update that information.

Summer vacations are meant to relax and recharge us, so don’t let a lost or stolen wallet wreck your time away. If you find yourself in a similar situation, we’re here to help at Independence Bank. It can be stressful, but whether it’s through digital banking, by telephone, or in person at one of our locations, we’ve got you covered. Happy travels!

Featured in Hancock Clarion
Wade Gaynor President, Independence Bank