If you’re here from the Google and just want step by steps for what to do when your wallet is stolen, skip to that part of the post here.
Remember how I said I wanted a trainwreck date? I think maybe I’m the trainwreck date. If I had any shame, I would have been asking myself what I could have done differently, what went wrong, how this could have happened….
New rule: avoid hardwood floors as a surface for sex.
Of course, I’m now only physically battered (hardwood floors) and the emotional bruising has healed. But when I checked my bank account Monday and discovered my wallet was stolen I wasn’t sure if I felt more like a victim of crime or a victim of my hangover. It’s hard to distinguish despondency from the rotten feeling in my insides after one rum pineapple, two Long Beach Iced Teas, and one Audios Mother Fucker.
New rule: don’t drink anything blue.
I wish I could say all that drinking fogged my memory, but it did not. I remember very clearly turning into an annoying foam troll, scooping up bubbles and blowing them at angry people. Now I realize they didn’t want soap in their drinks, but at the time they just seemed to be enemies of fun. When a woman said to me, “Do you not SEE this?” indicating the phone and pack of cigs she held aloft the bubbles like Simba over the Serengeti, I replied, “Do you not SEE that you’re already elbow deep in bubbles?” My date thought I was fiery or something. I am just embarrassed.
New rule: stay out of the foam pit.
Anyway, when your wallet is stolen, you are going to be making TONS of phone calls.
- Call your bank and cancel your card(s).
- Call the police (look up the local non-emergency number online and be prepared to leave a message).
- Call the credit bureaus and set up a 90-day fraud alert.
- Call an identity theft protection agency.
- Call the DMV and set up an appointment for your replacement license.
Here’s how I handled it:
1. I called my bank.
My bank had already frozen my card, because apparently my purchasing habits algorithm conflicts with spending $25.19 at Taco Bell and then renting a hotel room. OK, first of all… TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS AT TACO BELL? I love taco bell but I don’t even know how to spend that much money there. Even the most decked out supreme crunchy space saucer wrap thing is less than 5 dollars. Either my crook had friends, or she bought two party packs and an XL Mountain Dew and contemplated her life choices over 24 tacos.
My bank also transferred me to the identity theft protection service they offer, but I took down the number to call them back so I could think about my options.
2. And then I called the police.
It’s important to make an official report, because, hmm, I’m not sure why but it was pretty exciting to have the police calling me every couple of hours over 3 days trying to get through my wall of bad reception and general unavailability. Nothing makes my hair prickle quite like hearing “This is the San Diego Police Department calling for [my real name].”
3. I put up a fraud alert.
My bank instructed me to call the credit bureaus and put up a 90-day fraud alert. Equifax will notify Experian and Trans Union for you, so you only have to call the first one. I’m starting to feel like the person who stole my wallet was an opportunistic miscreant and not a skilled criminal, because it looks like she tried to buy something from Boost Mobile and frantically reversed the charges. Or maybe it’s some sort of off-the-grid cell phone trick only the pros know about. Anyway, the fraud alert will protect me from people trying to open up lines of credit in my name.
4. Should I sign up for identity theft protection?
Yes. Yes I should. The anxiety told me I have to do it, because people out there might try to personify me to uh….well…get into bars underage? Get speeding tickets under my name? Um. Not quite sure what they can do with my driver’s license but CNN tells me to be very afraid.
Anyway, it’s only $13 a month and I might as well try it for awhile.
5. This one’s IMPORTANT. Make an APPOINTMENT with the DMV
The Tuesday after Labor Day @ the DMV was a horde of sweating unhappy people. They spilled out of the overcrowded building onto the hot sidewalk. Oh no. Oh no, no, no, I thought, why did I think today would be a good day? Staff didn’t even try to harass me for bringing in my iced chai latte, which I’m pretty sure is verboten.
At 3pm I got through a 3 person line at window 22 to check in for my appointment. At 3:10pm I wandered back inside to look for a chair. At 3:20pm the woman who let me sit next to her gave me a murderous glance when my number was called. At 3:30pm I was back in my car with my temporary driver’s license, feeling like I had cheated at life.
So yeah, make an appointment in advance by calling the number on their website.
All told, I’m not too shaken by this whole thing. All I really lost was the $30 cash and the cost for replacing my drivers license, as my bank should refund the charges. I amuse myself by thinking that someone out there got wasted in a hotel room full of gorditas.