Lost and Stolen Items

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Big things can come in small packages, and when in comes to packages as small as your purse or wallet, it doesn’t take much imagination to realize how their contents can quickly become a goldmine for identity thieves.

Why Steal Your Wallet or Purse?

Besides the obvious benefit of finding immediate cash, when a thief steals your
wallet or purse, they gain immediate access to the information necessary to
steal your identity. It may seem a low-tech method for obtaining your personal information, but the fact is, stealing your wallet or purse is still a major source of identity theft.

What Is the Cost of Stolen Wallet Identity Theft?

Of identity theft victims who knew how their information was stolen, 20% indicated it stemmed from a lost or stolen wallet. Further, this number skewed higher for those who were victims of existing bank account theft (26%) and multiple kinds of theft (29%). 1

Information thieves can collect:

  • Driver’s license number
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • Credit and Bank account


What thieves can do with this information:

  • Identity theft
  • Employment-related fraud
  • Loan fraud/payday loan fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Benefits fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Other identity fraud


Stolen Wallet Statistics:

  • 20% of identity theft victims who
    knew how their information
    was stolen said it was from a lost
    or stolen wallet.1
  • 26% of victims who experienced
    theft from their existing bank
    account said it was due to a lost
    or stolen wallet.1
  • 29% of victims who had multiple
    kinds of theft (bank, credit, other)
    indicated it was from a lost or
    stolen wallet.1

1 http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/vit08.pdf

Federal Trade Commission. “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book For
January – December 2011.” February 2012.

Javelin Strategy & Research. "2012 Identity Fraud Report: Social Media and Mobile Forming
the New Fraud Frontier." February 2012.