What Dangers Lurk In Your Wallet?

1:18 PM, Jul 12, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Who needs to go on a wallet diet? We tend to cram all kinds of stuff in there, then we can't zip them or they get heavy. It's an inconvenience, but did you know, you are also putting yourself in jeopardy?

All of those receipts and bank slips and scraps of personal information. Kiplinger's Magazine gives us 5 things that you should remove from your wallet immediately to minimize risk should your wallet ever be stolen.

#1: Your social security card.
Hands down, ID-theft experts say that little card with the 9 digits on it is absolutely the worst item to carry around. It has everything thieves need to open new credit card accounts or loans in your name. Retirees should remember that Medicare cards have Social Security numbers on them, too.

#2: Checks.

Blank checks are the obvious risk, but even a filled-out check can lead to financial loss. Access to routing numbers on checks means anybody could electronically transfer funds from your account.

#3: A Stack of Receipts.
As of December 2003, businesses can no longer print anything containing your credit or debit card expiration date or more than the last 5 digits of your credit card number. But, ID thieves can still use the limited information on receipts to phish for your remaining numbers.  So, clear those receipts out each night and shred the ones you don't need.

#4: Spare Keys.
A lost wallet with a key and your home address -- like on your license -- is a disaster waiting to happen.

#5 A password cheat sheet.
We all have an average of 7 passwords. They are tough to keep track of,  but don't keep them all written down on a Post-It note with your ATM and pin numbers. If you have to write it down, put it in a safe.

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