Wallet & phone stolen. Now what?
November 11, 2008 8:18 PM   Subscribe

Help me make sure I don't get scammed after having my wallet and phone stolen. What am I missing?

OK, so I had my wallet and iPhone stolen. So far I've:
- called all credit card agencies (the cards had been used several times in the 3 hours since they were taken, all at gas stations and grocery stores)
- had my credit file flagged with TransUnion, who will be passing it on to Experian and whatever-the-other-one-is
- called my bank and suspended my checking account, since my checkbook was also in there

vis-a-vis iPhone, I've
- suspended my AT&T account
- changed my iTunes password
- changed my email passwords

Tomorrow I will
- call health insurance company to make sure nobody scams my insurance
- call the DMV to get a replacement drivers' license.

Complicating matters: I am 4 hours away from home & will have to drive through the mountains with no credit card, no drivers license and no phone. Aagh!

So, the questions:
- am I forgetting anything that will compromise security on my iPhone?
- I have a sneaking suspicion my SS card was in there too - is there anything else I should do now that I've put a freeze on my credit reports?
- I have $40 in cash, $20 to go in gas. What are the chances I can walk into AT&T tomorrow morning and get a new phone? (Feel free to laugh)
- should I call Apple? I have Applecare but it doesn't cover theft and neither does my contents insurance.
- am I forgetting anything obvious that will expose me to identity theft and general misery?
posted by media_itoku to Work & Money (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It doesn't answer you question, but it may help someone prevent the same thing being a problem if this happens to anyone else.

I periodically take everything out of my wallet and put it on a photocopier so that I can remember what was in there if I lose it. If you do this, copy both sides, because most cards have contact numbers to report lost or stolen cards on the back. I then put these photcopies in my filing cabinet.


Your Mom.
posted by lottie at 8:56 PM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hopefully you didn't have, like, a spare key to your house in there, since your address was probably all over the place. (The parking valet scam.)

You might want to change passwords on any websites with cookies/saved passwords. I don't understand how the iPhone saves them, but it certainly does save some. If you use(d) MobileMe to sync bookmarks and calendars and contacts and such, you'll want to change that too, otherwise the phone (wherever it is) will dutifully keep copying down your data.

You'll need to contact Apple at some point anyway since your new iPhone will have a different serial number.

I also do lottie's trick, though like backups, never quite often enough.
posted by rokusan at 9:05 PM on November 11, 2008

Can you borrow a few bucks? I bought a stopgap phone at Target for $34 a few months ago, so I don't doubt you can get one for around that price at the AT&T store.
posted by ignignokt at 9:47 PM on November 11, 2008

Why don't you just withdraw some money from a local branch of your bank during business hours?
posted by jeffburdges at 11:55 PM on November 11, 2008

If you used your iPhone with your company's Exchange server (if such exists for you), you can have the phone remotely wiped. I've never tried this on my iPhone, but I've seen it done with Windows Mobile devices and I know where the button is on Outlook Web Access just in case. Here's a video.

jeffburdges: how does he prove to the local bank that he's allowed to withdraw funds from his account?
posted by jmcmurry at 5:06 AM on November 12, 2008

First things first, report this to the police and get a police report. Without that little piece of paper, getting anything else fixed will take so much longer and have extra steps.

Credit Report Fraud Alerts, 'Flagging' as you call it, does nothing. Really. All it does is put a little note on your credit report that says 'Gee, if Joe Blow tries to open up credit with this account, you should really make sure it's actually Joe. Really, please do it!' In actuality, no one checks, and the fraud alert doesn't do shit. I had a fraud alert on my account, and some jackass still opened credit up in my name.

A fraud alert is NOT a credit freeze. A credit freeze prevents ANYONE from seeing your credit unless you open up your report, and you can do this via a website, with immediate results. Credit agencies hate freezes because it's extra work for them, but really, it's just great to have that sort of control over your personal information.

Freeze your credit now. It will take a week or two to become effective, but really, do it this morning. If you have a police report, there is a good chance that you can get the freeze put on your report for free.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 5:43 AM on November 12, 2008

For future reference, there's a wonderful application called 1Password that you might want to look into - it's iPhone compatible and you can lock it down (or set it to auto lock) to protect the info on your phone.

As far as your Social Security card goes, there's really no reason to ever carry that around. After you replace it, don't keep it in your wallet.

I echo what was said about getting a credit freeze - it's easy to do online.

Call or email your contacts and let them know what's happened just in case the thief is brazen enough to try to socially engineer info from them that can help him/her commit identity theft.

Some credit cards have coverage against theft within a certain time frame. Check with yours to see if your iPhone is covered.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 7:39 AM on November 12, 2008

Oh yeah, if your iTunes account is linked to your bank account or PayPal, notify Apple as to what happened and close the account(s) immediately. Re-open new accounts with different email addresses and Secret Questions (don't use mother's maiden name or any of those other easy to find out questions). If possible, make up your own secret questions and fill in nonsense answers that only you'd know the answer to... if you're not good at coming up with crazy/long passwords, use an app like 1Password to generate strong passwords for you.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2008

« Older Plane Ticket Reservation   |   Levittown, NY: what gives? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.