AARP: Five things to never carry in your wallet or purse

Set up fraud alerts online with banking and credit accounts
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 1:09 PM CDT
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(InvestigateTV) — The Federal Trade Commission received more than one million complaints of identity theft in 2022, with some instances occurring after the theft of a purse or wallet.

The AARP said one way to help prevent identity theft is to be very selective about what you keep in wallets and purses. The company published a list of 10 Worst Things to Carry in Your Wallet, which includes:

Social Security card: This is unlikely needed for everyday use and can easily be used for fraud if it falls into the wrong hands

Medicare card: Only carry when needed to protect the unique Medicare number

Barely used credit cards: The more cards lost or stolen, the larger the exposure and headache to cancel accounts

Password cheat sheet: This could give a thief easy access to financial and personal accounts

Blank checks: These can easily be exploited by fraudsters

If a wallet or purse is missing or stolen, the AARP says to act fast. Lock down accounts and freeze credit as soon as possible.

They have additional tips here for how to prevent identity theft after the loss of a wallet or purse.