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What’s (Not) in Your Wallet?

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Identity theft is an expansive topic, but there are some quick and easy steps to keep you going should you lose a card or driver’s license. Even better, here’s how to reduce the likelihood of losses in the first place.

Let’s start with your wallet. How many cards do you carry? Probably too many. What with insurance cards, driver’s licenses, credit and debit cards, loyalty cards, library cards and on and on…it’s easy to carry a wallet that would make a stuffed turkey blush. It’s also a purse-snatcher’s dream-come-true. But it’s an easily solved issue. Follow these steps from and additional resources listed below.

  1. Cut back on credit and debit cards. Carry only one personal credit and one debit card, along with one of each for business. Leave the rest at home—or in your locked glove compartment if absolutely necessary.

  2. Take smart-phone photos of all cards and IDs—those in your wallet and those you’ve stored. This assumes, of course, that your smart phone is password secured. Well???? If not, a thief has access to anything in your phone. Believe it or not, back in 2013, 30 percent of cell phone users did not password-protect their phone. That’s an invitation to disaster.

  3. Fortify your protection: Make hard copies of all cards, scan and store them in your FOREVER® account where you can access them 24/7 no matter where you are. That way, you always have your vital information at hand—even if you lack the card. What about all those gift cards? Get the Gyft app. This allows you to store and use all gift cards on your phone. All the convenience—none of the bulk. The Gyft app also tracks your gift card balances. What are you waiting for?

  4. Loyalty cards? That’s easy. Most accept your phone number. How about receipts? You can ditch those space hogs by photographing them, too. Store them on your phone with FOREVER®, Evernote or Google Drive. Much more reliable than paper overflowing in your purse, obscuring its contents.

  5. Driver’s license: Make sure you have that stored in your cell phone and your FOREVER® account. Truth be told, the day is coming where hard-copy driver’s licenses will be replaced with digital versions on your cell phone. Colorado, Iowa, Wyoming, Idaho, Maryland and Washington DC are already trying out digital licenses.

  6. Cash: Ever ask yourself, “Geez, where’d all my cash go this week?” Hard to say. That’s why most people use debit cards instead. They track your spending. Carry some cash for parking, street vendors, etc., but keep it to a minimum.

Also, if you’re travelling in the US, remember that the above practices could be a godsend for you. Lost your license? TSA will usually honor a scanned copy. If not, carry a photo showing you with your travel companions.

That’s proof you are who you are.

Fodor’s Travel recommends if your driver’s license is lost, report it to police immediately. You have documentation of loss and a paper trail which hampers identity theft. Likewise, purchase round-trip tickets with a credit card. TSA will then know you did have an ID when you purchased the ticket.

Now that you’ve lightened your wallet—and your load, relax. You’re ready for any emergency requiring your ID.

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