In 2006 muggers accosted magician David Copperfield, who promptly turned all of his pockets empty despite carrying his wallet, cell phone and passport cbsnews.com/news/david-co…
In many countries, such as China or Brazil, it is considered bad luck to place your purse or wallet on the floor because it will cause you financial distress or misfortune. This is because it shows you do not respect money. dailysabah.com/life/2019/…
In a study planting 170,000 β€œlost” wallets in 355 cities of 40 countries, finders were more likely to return the wallet if it had cash inside vs no cash. Further study found that larger amounts of cash meant the wallet was more likely to be returned than wallets with smaller amounts of cash. latimes.com/science/la-sc…
Counter to the portrayal in the Krakauer book and Penn film, Chris McCandless carried "into the wild" a wallet with multiple sources of identification and $300 in cash, as well as a map. tifilms.com/wild/call_deb…
The character Guinan in Star Trek:TNG, played by Whoopi Goldberg, was named after an American actress, producer and entrepreneur, Texas Guinan. A colorful character who would greet her speakeasy’s patrons, β€œHello, Sucker! Come on in and leave your wallet on the bar." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tex…
Frank McNamara, co-founder of Diners Club International, forgot his wallet while dining out one day and, to avoid such embarrassments in the future, came up with a cardboard charge card with which he paid for a meal at the same restaurant in 1950, paving the way for modern-day credit cards. dinersclubus.com/home/abo…
The Hello Kitty Murder (1999) was a case in which a nightclub hostess from Hong Kong got kidnapped and tortured by 3 men after stealing their wallet. She was then decapitated and her head was crammed into a Hello Kitty doll. Only skull, one tooth, and organs were later recovered en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hel…
A mountaineer found a wallet in the Andes mountain range that belonged to passenger of the plane crash in 1972. Realising the owner had survived, the mountaineer returned in wallet to him in 2005, more than 30 years later. backpacker.com/trips/aliv…
A 17-yr-old found Chris Hemsworth's wallet on a restaurant table in L.A.; he returned it to the actor who gave him back the wallet's cash plus more. Later on the Ellen Show, the teen was also rewarded $10K cash for his honesty. mashable.com/2016/04/19/h…
Today I learned of the fat wallet syndrome, where sitting on a fat wallet in your back pocket can cause sciatica (a type of back pain) and piriformis (a form of butt pain). ijmrhs.com/medical-resear…
The most misused social security number ever (078-05-1120) belonged to Hilda Schrader Whitcher. She was the secretary of an executive at E. H. Ferree company who manufactured wallets which included a sample SSN card with her number. It was used over 40,000 times. ssa.gov/history/ssn/misus…
A mountaineer found a wallet in the Andes mountain range. It was swung out of a plane, which crashed in 1972. Realizing the owner of the wallet was one of the 16 survivors, he returned it to him, 32 years later. alpineexpeditions.net/dis…
In 1982, a Caltrans worker happened upon a wallet belonging to one of the Salomons alongside the Antelope Valley Freeway. A subsequent search turned up another wallet as well as photos and personal documents belonging to the couple. The case was reclassified as an active homicide investigation. lamag.com/citythinkblog/s…
Illusionist David Copperfield was robbed at gunpoint and used sleight-of-hand to hide his wallet, passport, and cell phone. usatoday30.usatoday.com/l…
2 Florida men failed to steal a Corvette, because they couldn't drive stick. At gunpoint, the owner told them 4 times to push the clutch, but they gave up and ran away on foot with only the man's phone, keys, and wallet. foxnews.com/us/2013/01/29…
TV host Soupy Sales was once suspended for asking his young viewers to send him "little green pieces of paper" taken from their parents' wallets. snopes.com/fact-check/gre…
A children's entertainer named Soupy Sales asked on-air that children send him "those funny little pieces of paper with pictures of presidents on them" from their parents' purses and wallets and was thus suspended from his show for 2 weeks en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sou…
An Iowa man was reunited with a wallet he lost in 1944, it only took 72 years to get it back. wqad.com/2016/02/23/iowa-…
Pickpockets will sometimes yell "someone stole my wallet" so everyone around them pats their wallets, revealing the pocket valuables are held in. stuffyoushouldknow.com/po…
A children's entertainer named Soupy Sales once asked the children who watched his show to send him "funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents" from their parents wallets and purses. He was suspended for two weeks when parents complained. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sou…
In 2006, David Copperfield used slight of hand to trick armed robbers into believing he had nothing even though he was carrying his passport, wallet, and cellphone. usatoday30.usatoday.com/l…
The FBI maintains their own Bitcoin wallet that consists of seized Bitcoins. wired.com/2013/12/fbi_wal…
In 1938 a NY wallet maker used a sample of the newly implemented SSN on the card that goes in their wallets. Some of the customers thought this number was their assigned SSN. Overall an estimated 40,000 people reported under the 'Woolworth number' with cases turning up as late as 1977. snopes.com/fact-check/the…
Macaques monkeys in Japan learned to steal purses and wallets, and take out the coins use them to buy drinks and snacks from vending machines. factsanddetails.com/japan…
The United States Postal Service will return wallets that are found to the owner classroom.synonym.com/how…
The US Postal Service will return a lost wallet free of charge if it is placed in one of those blue post office boxes classroom.synonym.com/how…
Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods was once a homeless drug addict who stole purses and wallets for years in NYC before moving to Minnesota and getting clean citypages.com/restaurants…
Soupy Sales told viewers to send pieces of little green paper from parents wallets snopes.com/fact-check/gre…
The man with the record for owning the most credit cards is Walter Cavanagh with 1,497 valid credit cards. He keeps them in the world's longest wallet that measures 250ft long and weighs 38lbs... guinnessworldrecords.com/…
A photo of a man stealing a wallet in a store was on the bottom of The Lewiston Tribune on December 14, 2007. Above it was an unrelated photo of a man painting a business. Readers noticed both men were wearing the same clothes. They were identified to be the same person leading to his arrest. nytimes.com/2008/01/07/bu…
Wallets weren't used for carrying money and identification like they are now. They carried things like dried meats and "things to be unseen". It was also considered uncivilized to carry your wallet in your pocket up until the 20th century. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wal…
In 1992, George Washington’s wallet was stolen from a Trenton, New Jersey museum and returned three weeks later with $1.66 missing. The two bills, one from 1776 worth 2/3 of a dollar and a 1779 dollar bill, were never recovered. deseretnews.com/article/2…
Sportscaster Jim Nantz wants his breakfast toast so burnt, he carries around a picture of burnt toas in his wallet to show servers to save time. ftw.usatoday.com/2016/03/…
Diners Club was the first independent credit card company. Cofounder Frank McNamara had the idea in 1949 after dining with clients and realizing he had forgotten his wallet. He later returned to the restaurant and paid with a cardboard charge card and a signature. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Din…
Today I learned about Mel Wiley, a police chief from Ohio who disappeared more than 30 years ago. His car was found with his clothes, badge, and wallet neatly stacked inside. A fellow officer found a typewriter ribbon from an unsent letter suggesting he was going on a β€œone way trip”. medina-gazette.com/News/2…
For years, James Randi (nee Zwinge) wrote everyday "I, Randall Zwinge, will die today" along with the date and his signature on a card he carried in his wallet. He hoped in the event of his untimely death, he would be credited with having predicted it. nytimes.com/2014/11/09/ma…
Today I learned of the unsolved murder of Mitrice Richardson, arrested during a psychotic break, released without her wallet/phone, and not found for a year lamag.com/longform/what-h…
Illusionist David Copperfield once used sleight-of-hand to convince robbers that his pockets were empty though he held a wallet, passport, and phone. theguardian.com/world/200…
132 wallets were "lost" in NYC as part of an experiment, and only 2% of them were taken. Wallets were more likely to be taken on the Upper East Side, where median family income is as high as $126,000. columbia.edu/cu/news/07/0…
Today I learned about preparation to reduce the impact of a stolen wallet

Long story short, my wallet was stolen Thursday morning during a brief stop to pick up a friend near the beginning of a 750 mile car trip, and wasn't noticed until about 250 miles later when we stopped for lunch and gas. If it weren't for my friend being with me, I'd have been stuck 300 miles from home with no ID, no credit card, and no cash.

There is some traditional advice about what to do after the fact, such as get new credit card numbers, file a police report, report it to credit agencies, etc - there are a bunch of websites that list that stuff. However, there were a few things I noticed that could be done ahead of time to make things a bit easier in the event that it happens.

  1. Enter the phone number from the back of your credit cards into your cell phone. Without the cards to look off of, it was a few hours before I was able to get access to a computer and look up the numbers, and a lot of mischief can happen in those hours. Even if you're near home, 20 or 30 minutes is enough for them to make a couple of charges.
  2. If you normally keep all your money in your wallet, keep at least a bit of cash someplace else. By the time I noticed the wallet was missing, I didn't have enough gas to get back home, and I didn't have any way to get more. Just $30 stashed someplace in the car could have made all the difference in avoiding being stranded.
  3. Keep some phone numbers in the wallet. I had a small card with a list of phone numbers of family members in case I was in a car crash and incapacitated, but I ended up getting the wallet back (sans cash) as a result of someone finding it ditched in a parking lot 60 miles from where it was lost, and calling the contact numbers.
  4. Make a list of everything in the wallet - cards, information, etc. That way, you aren't having to guess about what you need to cancel or replace.
The founder of PETA has asked for, when she dies, her skin to be turned into wallets, her feet into umbrella stands, her flesh into nuggets, and for her ears to be sent to the Canadian Parliament en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ing…
The first credit card, issued in 1949 and made out of cardboard, was Diners Club. Co-founder Frank McNamara was dining with clients and realized he forgot his wallet. His wife paid the tab, and McNamara thought of a multipurpose charge card as a way to avoid similar embarrassments in the future. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Din…
If Bill Gates dropped a 100$ bill on the ground, he'd earn more in interest in the 1 second it took him to pick it up than the actual act of picking it up and putting it in his wallet. mic.com/articles/45397/10…
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser was drugged and robbed of his passport, wallet, suitcase and trousers in a motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was quoted as saying "I wish I'd never heard of bloody Memphis." articles.latimes.com/1986…
At one point over 5000 Americans thought that 078-05-1120 was their SSN...because it was printed on a sample card that was included in Woolworth wallets ssa.gov/history/ssn/misus…
Abraham Lincoln was carrying a Confederate $5 bill in his wallet when he died. thekojonnamdishow.org/201…
Using a mobile wallet is safer than shopping online or swiping a physical card because it uses a randomly generated 15 to 16 digit number called a "token," which are useless if stolen. time.com/money/4579360/pa…
A small, bladed can opener issued to U.S. soldiers with rations from WW II into the 1980s -- officially known as the P-38 but called a β€œJohn Wayne” by Marines – is still carried in wallets today by some veterans. networkworld.com/communit…
If a thief uses 1234 as a PIN number, they could access funds in almost 1 out of every 9 wallets they steal. mashable.com/2012/09/24/p…

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