What's in Your Wallet?



Depending on your daily activities, job and lifestyle, you may need to carry more or less personal information in your wallet or purse than another individual.

However, there is a simple rule of thumb that everyone can use to reduce the amount of personal information and identification documents they carry and thereby reduce their risk of identity theft.


By reducing the amount of personal identifying information you carry in your wallet or purse, you can reduce your potential exposure to identity theft if your wallet or purse is lost or stolen.  Equally important, you will reduce the amount of time spent replacing all the lost or stolen personal information and documents in your wallet or purse.

Here are some general guidelines as a starting point for what you should and should not have in your wallet or purse.  You can add and subtract items based on your individual requirements and what you will need on a specific day.

What should be in your wallet or purse:

  1. Driver’s license or other form of state issued identification
  2. Automobile registration and insurance if required by law
  3. One or two credit/debit cards for that day (don’t write PINs on back)
  4. Any other personal identification document you need that day only

What should not be in your wallet or purse:

  1. Passport
  2. Social Security card
  3. Any form of identification containing your Social Security number
  4. Excess credit and debit cards
  5. Checks
  6. Passwords or personal identification numbers (PINs)
  7. Account numbers
  8. Any other personal identification document you don’t need that day

What should you do if your wallet or purse is lost or stolen while riding MARTA:

  1. Call MARTA Police immediately at (404) 848-4911
  2. Use Blue or White phones located in the stations
  3. Dial #MPD on cell phones using AT&T, Sprint/Nextel, Verizon
  4. On trains, press call Buttons for operator assistance

Con Artists and the Games They Play

Consumers of any age can become victims of a con artist. Older adults who become victims of fraud may experience feelings of hurt, anger, grief, loss, guilt, betrayal, or embarrassment. These feelings can be used constructively to keep you, a friend, or a family member from becoming a victim of consumer fraud. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Con artists may call you on the telephone, come to your door, speak to you in a parking lot, on the MARTA bus, MARTA train or contact you by e-mail. Don’t let them take advantage of you. If you think you may have been the victim of a con game, be sure to tell someone.

Con Games to Avoid

Charity/Religious Group: An unknown group solicits funds from you. Ask for a verified financial statement. Before making a donation, check out the organization to see what percent of donated money is used for intended purposes. The group may not even exist.

Contest Winner: To win the prize, you must send money for postage, taxes, registration, or call for details. Do not send any money. Never pay for a free prize. Usually you get nothing, a worthless item, or a catalog for overpriced or nonexistent merchandise.

Credit/Phone Scam: A person asks for your credit card or phone card number to check unauthorized charges, verify insurance, or send a product. NEVER give your credit or phone card numbers to anyone.

Lotteries: A person offers to sell a winning lottery ticket or a law firm says someone has left you a winning lottery ticket, but you must send money so a computer can verify your identity. The winning ticket may be counterfeit or not exist. Be suspicious, do NOT buy a ticket from an individual, and do NOT send money!

Magazine Subscriptions: A young person is selling subscriptions to earn money for school, camp, or a team. The money may never go beyond the pocket of the seller. Buy subscriptions only from people you know or directly from the magazine.

Help Needed: A person showing lots of identification asks for $10 to $20. Her car was impounded, and due to an illness she does not have the needed money. She promises to repay you. The IDs are fake or stolen and no emergency exists. Do NOT lend money to someone you do not know.

Pigeon Drop: A person says he found some money and offers to share it with you. In order to show he trusts you, he asks you to place the money in an envelope for safekeeping. But he asks you first to place some of your own money in the envelope as a measure of good faith. Then something occurs that distracts you and the envelope of money is switched. The next time you look, the envelope contains only paper.

Product Demonstration: A sales person wants you to sign a paper for my boss to prove a new product was described (not sold) to you. The paper signed may be a contract to order the item. Always read every word before signing any form. Sometimes the contract continues on the back of the page. Check the back of each page before signing a contract.


  • Always take time to read contracts and verify the legitimacy of companies and individuals.
  • Talk to a trusted friend or relative before you make a decision.
  • Beware of an offer that is only good if you respond right away.
  • Avoid impulses to donate, repair, or purchase items.
  • Do not give Social Security, bank, or charge account numbers to others. Being asked for personal information does not mean you have to share it.
  • Keep door-to-door salespersons or unknown callers outside of your home.
  • Think before you respond. Protect yourself.

If you become a victim of a con game, report it. Do not be afraid or embarrassed, because you are not the first person to fall victim to a scam. The people carrying out scams are professionals at what they do and practice their schemes in all parts of the country. It can happen to you. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

What should you do if you become a victim or think that you may have been coned while riding MARTA:

  1. Call MARTA Police immediately at (404) 848-4911
  2. Use Blue or White phones located in the stations
  3. Dial #MPD on cell phones using AT&T, Sprint/Nextel, Verizon

On trains, press call Buttons for operator assistance.

For your safety and security, MARTA Transit Police officers are everywhere in the system: on buses and trains, at stations, and in parking lots. But you play a role in your security, too. We suggest that you follow these safety and crime prevention tips so that you don't become an easy target.

Late Night Travel Tips

  • Travel with someone you know.
  • Stand near other passengers when waiting for a train or bus.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, move near other people or look for a MARTA  
    employee for assistance.
  • Ride in a rail car occupied by other people or sit in the first car where the
    train operator is located.
  • Be alert to your surroundings.

Protect Your Electronic Device

  • Carry your electronic devices in a pocket or a place where it is not easily
    seen or in easy reach of others.
  • Be smart about when and where you use your electronic devices.
  • Change the color of your ear piece so that it does not readily suggest you
    carry an expensive electronic device.
  • Avoid sitting or standing near the doors of rail cars or buses.

Report Suspicious Behavior and Objectionable Conduct Immediately

  • Call the MARTA Police immediately at 404-848-4911
  • Use Blue or White phones located in the stations
  • Dial #MPD on cell phones using AT&T, Sprint/Nextel, Verizon
  • On trains, press call Buttons for operator assistance



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