The Basics of Banking: Part 5

Unfortunately, many of us have experienced the frustration of having our property lost or stolen. Even if you’re careful, losing track of your personal belongings for just a few moments can have bad consequences.

Losing your purse or wallet is more than just an inconvenience. Every personal item has to be replaced, including your school or work ID, your driver’s license, your bank card and your checkbook. It can be time consuming, but it’s important to take action right away.

As soon as you realize your items are missing, contact your bank immediately. The faster you report lost or stolen credit and debit cards, the less risk you have of thieves spending money from your accounts.

Most banks, including Origin, have a 24-hour hotline for reporting lost and stolen cards. Call it as quickly as possible. The bank will cancel your card and checks, and issue new ones with new numbers. During the call, the bank will likely review some of the recent purchases on your account. This helps the bank figure out if anyone tried to use your card after it went missing.

Origin also offers a mobile app that can be very helpful in this situation. In addition to electronic banking and monitoring your account, the app helps you connect with the bank quickly and easily when problems arise. You can also access card controls and alerts through the mobile app, which allows you to turn cards on and off.

Once your finances are secured, you’ll need to notify your school or work about your ID and report a missing driver’s license to your state’s licensing office. These steps are also critical and should be handled immediately. Thieves sometimes use other people’s personal information to open fake credit accounts, take out loans or scam business owners.

If your personal information is stolen, talk to your parents or guardians about setting up a fraud alert on your credit. Doing this protects your information for a certain amount of time and prevents anyone from using your ID to open a new account without letting you know first.

Experts recommend setting up a fraud alert, especially if your driver’s license is stolen. Identity thieves love getting their hands on kids’ information, precisely because they usually have no credit history, which makes it easier to open new accounts.

Always protect your personal and financial information, both online and with physical cards and IDs. Before you give your information to others, take a moment to make sure the person on the receiving end is who they say they are. If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask why your information is needed.

And remember that when your wallet or purse is lost or stolen, act quickly to prevent the problem from getting even worse.

Origin Bank believes it’s never too early to build good money management skills. With a solid foundation, kids and young adults develop the knowledge and financial habits that help them become independent adults and avoid common mistakes that can lead to long-term struggles.

Lastly, we’ll talk about steps you can take to safeguard yourself against identity theft.