I’m not a morning person. I don’t drink coffee (they actually asked me to stop during my first job out of college!) and caffeine in general tends to make me a little buzzalicious. One thing I do like to add to my mornings to make them a tad more bearable is Good Morning America.
They have a segment on personal finance in which they usually chat with Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments. One story in particular stood out to me and I just had to share it with you guys! Mellody set up a booth in NYC and started asking people if she could go through their purses and wallets to see if there was anything in there that could open them up to identity theft (go here to check out the clip).
Of course, lots of New Yorkers were reluctant (“Fahgettaboutit!”), but others were curious and ready to take advantage of her knowledge. I, too, was listening with ears perked. In 2008, I had the misfortunate of having my purse and laptop stolen. (Trust me, people, you do not want to deal with the amount of paperwork and heartburn that goes along with that level of fraud!) I needed to be sure that I had corrected the error of my ways and that my wallet was now relatively fraud protected.
Mellody has some top items that you should NEVER keep in your wallet, and I’ll share them with you in just a moment. (For the full story and some additional tips, go here.)
1) The number one thing that you should never, EVER, under any circumstances keep in your wallet is… *drum roll please!* Your Social Security card!!! Who knew one tiny piece of paper could be so vital to your life? I found this out the hard way, friends. Please go check your purse or wallet right now and make sure your SS card is NOT there!
2) Mellody will tell you to not keep more than one credit card, but we suggest that you keep two so one can be a back up if there is a problem with the first. With only two cards in your wallet, not only is it easier to keep track of spending, but if your belongings should happen to get stolen, you’ll only have to contact two card companies. (Go here to check out our awesome, low rate credit cards!)
3) Receipts galore. They may contain personal info, so it’s best to not harbor them in your wallet. (This is something my husband is VERY guilty of!) Mellody suggests removing them from your wallet each night.
4) Ditch anything that is expired. Lots of these expired things can tie back to your full name and address – you know, privileged information that you don’t want a crook to get their grubby little hands on!
Did you find any of the above surprising? Feel free to fess up in the comments below!