How to return a lost wallet? Wallets or even purses with valuables are lost daily. As such, if you come across a lost wallet, it’s moral and ethical to find the owner and return it. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult task, which is why this article discusses the ways to return a misplaced wallet, as well as what not to do.
Losing a wallet can be upsetting for the owner. Thus, if you find a missing wallet, you want to return it.
Returning a misplaced wallet can be a pain
You return a lost wallet by trying to contact the owner using an available driver’s license, identification card, or debit card in the wallet. The National Post can return the missing wallet if you drop it inside a mailbox. Moreover, you could use a security camera to identify the owner. And when none of these work, you want to inform the police and trust them to reach the owner.
It’s harder than it seems to get a wallet back to its owner. You may face some issues, typically false accusations when the owner is located, so you have to be careful when trying to contact them.
The owner might, for instance, falsely or maliciously accuse you of taking their belongings. Thus, it’s necessary to return the found wallet and all its contents in one piece.
How to return a lost wallet
As mentioned earlier, the moral thing to do when you find a lost wallet is to safely return it to its owner. You can return a wallet in the following ways:
1. Wait for the owner to come looking
The easiest way to return a wallet to its owner is to wait for them where you find it. Only wait for the owner to return searching for it if you aren’t busy.
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Most owners will return to look for their wallets. Besides, people typically become aware of their lost wallet sooner, so you might have to wait only a short while before the owner shows up. You may be able to tell the owner if you see someone pacing around in search of something. Just walk up to them and ask if they’ve misplaced something. If they say yes and mention “my wallet”, then you’ve probably found the owner. Go ahead and question them about the contents of the wallet. If they get it right, hand it over.
You could even leave a note instructing the appropriate person to call or email you if you can’t wait long enough. Email is typically secure because you don’t want your phone number to be public.
2. Contact the owner via the wallet content
If you find a misplaced wallet, look inside to find possible contact information. A credit card, identification card, business card, or driver’s license may be in the wallets or purses to use for identifying and contacting the owner. Besides, a wallet is an important home for identification cards, and other important documents, including passports or driver’s license—Allett.
Mail the wallet to the address on the driver’s license or any other form of identification available in it. However, if the wallet has credit or debit cards but no cards with a postal address, contact the bank with the card information, they might help to locate the owner using the card information maintained in the bank system.
3. Leave the found wallet in a mailbox
You can place the wallet you found in a mailbox—it will be handled with care and shipped to the rightful owner at no cost. The problem, however, is that it can be incredibly slow. So, make sure to mail the wallet to the address yourself.
Another problem with mailing the lost wallet is that there’s the possibility for someone to take out the cash or any valuables in it.
4. Contact the owner’s bank
If the wallet contains the owner’s credit card information, use that to contact them via their bank.
Just call the bank and inform them of the missing card and wallet. You can go to the nearest branch to drop them off yourself.
5. Use security footage to find the owner
Meet the concerned security department and ask for help. Usually, places like banks, hospitals, shopping malls, and hotels have security cameras. So, if you find the lost wallet in any place like these, they may have a security camera to use to know the owner.
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You can leave the wallet at the front help desk for them to contact the owner. Note that this method is only advisable if you can’t find any valid ID in the wallet.
6. Contact your local police department
Give the lost wallet to your local, nearest police station—they will take it from there to locate the owner.
Usually, a lost wallet in the wrong hands may lead to legal complications. For example, a thief may drop it at a crime scene to cover up their tracks. Thus, with the police in charge, you could be saving the owner some trouble. However, if the wallet contains lots of cash, make effort to locate the owner yourself.
What do police do with lost wallets?
Smart and good police officers try and locate the owner and return the lost wallet back to them using any available information inside the wallet. If they can’t trace the owner of the wallet, they book it into property for the detectives to try and find the owner. Lazy cops will just drop it in a mailbox while some throw it in a drawer at the front desk of the station to be handled by others.
Moreover, how cops generally handle lost wallets depends on the department’s stated procedures. Cops generally have to log it in as property, secure it and try to reach the owner.
If nobody claims the wallet, the lost wallet will remain in property to be disposed of according to the state law of either turning it over to the person who reported it, destroying, selling it at auction, or placing it into use by the department (this last one may not apply to a wallet though).
Things to avoid when finding the owner of a wallet
While in search of the owner, you do not want to do the following:
1. Post the wallet information on social media
Social media is a good place of contact. However, someone else may claim to be the owner of the found wallet and the owner may never come across the information online.
Nevertheless, you can filter claims by asking claimants to provide details of the wallet content. Also, if you go online to alert the public of the found wallet, you could be revealing someone’s identity without their permission.
2. Leave the wallet with a local business
You might think that the local business where you found the lost wallet will help locate the owner. Although this could be the case sometimes, it may be the opposite, especially if the person you’re leaving the wallet with is not the business owner.
Perhaps, if you have to leave the wallet with the business, it should be with the owner or manager who is more likely to locate the owner and return it to help their business integrity.
You also want to leave your name and phone number with the business to make sure they keep you informed whenever they claim they found the owner or that the owner showed up.
3. Don’t put the wallet in your bag/pocket after pickup
Think about it, it could be a prank. So, when you pick up a lost wallet, try examining it at first to see if you can find any contact information in it. It could be that the owner or a group of YouTubers are close by and watching or making videos.
Thus, you want to show good intention by examining the wallet immediately after you pick it up and trying to find contact information. If you sense that you’re being watched and that it could be some prank, leave it right there and walk away.
Can you mail a wallet?
You can mail a lost wallet. Just wrap the contents using a rubber band or put it in a plastic sandwich bag if the contents are loose to make sure all the wallet and contents items are returned in one piece. Finally, place the wallet at the post office or post office box in front of a government building.
How do you contact someone who lost their wallet?
You can contact someone who lost their wallet by calling the number on any of the wallet content you find. Look for their drivers license as well and use that to find the owner. If you find their credit card and take it to their bank, they should be able to get in touch with the person to pick up their wallet and wallet contents.
Can I return a lost wallet to a bank?
Yes, you can return a lost wallet to a bank if you can find contact information in the wallet. The bank will then try to contact the owner and return the wallet. They may need your contact information so that they can contact you to inform you once the lost wallet is returned. Just make sure to turn in the wallet to the specific bank you find on the credit card in the wallet.
Do lost wallets get returned?
Yes, lost wallets get returned. A lost wallet could still be returned by the person who found it.
If you’re not willing to see to it that the owner gets their lost wallet back, leave it where you find it. It doesn’t matter who else gets a hold of the wallet, just to save you from troubles you know nothing about. In some cases, it could even be a prank by some random YouTuber claiming to carry out a “social experiment”. Thus, you could be captured in the video being viewed by the whole world who think you’re a criminal.