Sunday, November 9, 2008


How many times have you ever lost your wallet and had to cancel all your credit cards?

I've stopped counting, but if I had to guess, it might be a double-digit number.

I prefer to think of the multiple losses as my Credit Card Fraud Prevention Strategy (CCFPS). My account numbers change so frequently that the odds of a successful charge by a thief are practically nil.

I lost my wallet Halloween night. The next morning, the conversation with the AmEx customer service agent went something like this:

Her: "What are the last four digits of your card?"

Me: "I don't know, if I had my card I could tell you!"

Her: "No problem, I'll look it up. I see two accounts -- do you remember your last purchase on the card that you lost?"

Me: "No, I don't, but there should only be one account. Not sure why you're showing two."

Her: "Oh, I see now, the other one was closed in 2007 when you reported a lost card."

Of course, less than an hour later, I figured out where I lost the wallet. It was fully intact, including the $2 cash that was in it, when I retrieved it from bar #2 .

Handy Tip: Always start a tab at a bar by giving your debit card to the bartender. That way, if you lose your wallet before cashing out, you at least have the debit card to use the next day.

Places I've found or retrieved my wallet: 1) under my car in the driveway: 2) in my car on the floor next to the passenger's side door (that's a great hiding spot for cell phones, wallets, and eyeglass cases); 3) under my sofa where the cat pushed it so far back that I didn't see it when I leaned down to look there the first time; 4) in my office drawer at work; 5) in the pocketbook I last used before I switched to another pocketbook; 6) at the Police Department from a kind officer that got it from the honest person who found it on the ground.

Next up: Places that I've found my jewelry

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