Do you know what to do if you find a wallet? Let’s find out.
A wallet is probably one of the most common articles carried by people in their everyday life. It naturally contains a lot of essentials which include money, credit cards, and driver’s license, etc.
To lose a wallet is naturally a nightmare to most people not only because losing money always hurts but also it’s generally a hassle to recover the lost items. Sometimes it even takes weeks of waiting and the whole process is quite troublesome depending on the system. Some wallets contain sentimental things that cannot be valued. Also, there is a risk of fraud or identity theft which causes a lot of concern.
Why you should return a lost wallet?
Before we start discussing what you should do if you find a lost wallet, you should make up your mind on how much effort you are willing to put into returning it. Here are some pointers to provide you some motivation to make your choice:
- It is undoubtedly the most ethical thing to do
- To live up to your conscience
- To brighten up someone’s day and to spare them a lot of trouble
- To protect the owner from theft
- There just might be a finder’s reward
Honestly, the world needs some positivity right now and you can do that by doing this good deed.
But hold up a minute. I can’t promise you that everything will be bright and sunny when you return the wallet. Some people are naturally ungrateful so they might just put you in a rough position by accusing you of stealing money or worse. Maybe you won’t get anything in return. They might not even appreciate your efforts.
What to do if you find a wallet?
So balance your pros and cons and make the best choice for yourself. And hopefully, you have made the right choice because I am going to provide you step by step instructions on how to return a lost wallet.
Look for the owner nearby
Look around the area where you found the wallet. Try to spot anyone looking for it or asking about it. You may stand there for a while in case the owner returns to look for it.
Find out if there is any reliable authority
Analyze the location and try to figure out whether there is a lost or found section (In case of malls or parks), a front desk( for gyms or offices), or a police station nearby. It is not advisable to hand over the wallet to a stranger so make a choice whether you want to take responsibility and return it yourself or if you want to leave it to the authority.
If you want to handle returning the wallet yourself, these are the following things you should do:
Look for identification
Looking for clues is the fastest and the best approach for returning the wallet to its rightful owner. Searching through someone’s private belongings might seem wrong but hopefully, the owner will forgive that upon receiving it back. Here is what you should be looking for:
- Driver’s License or NID: Most people carry these in their wallets and they are quite helpful to identify the owner as it will include a name, a phone number, and also an address. These also contain pictures so you will be able to identify the owner upon meeting and be free of any suspicion.
- Business Cards: These are helpful because they contain an office address and some necessary numbers where you might be able to locate them easily.
- Credit Cards: Banks keep information of credit card owners so they will be able to provide contact info.
If you can get the first step down and can find the contact information of the owner then the work will become a lot easier for you. Now you move on to the second step:
Try to contact the owner
As easy as this step may sound, contacting someone might not always be as simple as a phone call. The number you got from your search might be an old one or shut down or they simply might not receive your call. So here are a few things you can do to contact the owner:
- Call all the available numbers: Keep calling the numbers you have found and if they answer mention your name and where you found the wallet. Then decide on what to do next or what time or location will be convenient for both of you to return it.
- Leave a message: If you can’t reach the owner via call, it is good to leave a voice message or even a text message so that they might find it later. Include your name and purpose in the text and hope that he gets it.
- Social Media: This can be used as an alternative option, look up their name on Facebook or other relevant sites. If you end up finding them, you can leave a text.
- Email: Some people check their email pretty often for work purposes so if you happen to find their mail address, leave a text there as well. It doesn’t hurt to take an extra step, right?
If all these fail, the alternative is to find them at their address. This might be a bit unconventional but if you are invested enough to take that extra step, here’s what you can do:
- Go to their business address: It is better than showing up at their doorstep unannounced. Even if you can’t find them, you will find plenty of colleagues who will be able to reach them and send your word.’
- Go to their home: Avoid this one unless there is no other alternative. But if you absolutely have to, go to their home and hand them the wallet in person and explain that you tried to call.
- Mail the wallet: If you don’t want to hand it in person or take the trouble of traveling, you can use the postal service to mail the wallet to the owner. It is advisable to wrap it nicely so that the contents of the wallet don’t fall out. There is a little risk here of not knowing whether the wallet reached the owner or not, so you may add a little note inside with your contact info asking for confirmation that the owner found it.
When you can’t identify the owner
Now let’s talk about what you might do when you can’t find any sort of identifying factors in the wallet. You can take these options also when you can’t find the owner or just don’t have the time to take the responsibility of returning it. These are easy methods that might not provide you the satisfaction of returning the wallet in person but will still be a great help to someone.
It’s better to leave the wallet to a reliable and responsible authority if you can’t or don’t want to return it yourself. Here are some places for your convenience:
- The Police Station: This one is pretty obvious and needs no explanation. Leave the wallet to the nearest police station and let the experts handle it. The owner might go there anyway to look for it or report it. Sometimes the police are unreliable but in most cases, they are going to help.
- Lost and Found Sections: Only if you have no other alternative, you should leave it here. This isn’t advisable but the owner might look for it here and find it. It’s also good for leaving a wallet containing no information and a small amount of money.
- The Front Desk: In the case of gyms or office areas, the front desk or reception sometimes keeps the valuable stuff of their members in case they come to look for it. Don’t take this option if they refuse to keep it or seem disinterested in taking responsibility. Instead, leave your name and number and ask them to deliver it to anyone who comes asking for the wallet.
- Local businesses: There is an option of leaving the wallet in any of the nearby shops but it’s not advisable since you are practically giving it to a stranger. Instead, like the previous point, leave your name and number and ask them to contact you if someone asks for the wallet.
So now that I have finished listing all the possible things you can do to return a wallet to its owner, I will include some absolute DO NOTs just as a precaution.
Things not to do while returning a wallet
- Do not post about it on social media or anywhere that might grab the attention of many. This might attract unethical people who will falsify their identity and try to claim it.
- Do not leave it where you found it. Instead, leave it at a police station. There isn’t any guarantee that the next person who will find it won’t do something bad with it.
- Do not hand it over to a stranger without confirming that they will deliver it to the owner as soon as possible.
That’s all about it. Hope you will use this information wisely and do someone a massive favor!
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Special Thanks to Id Theft