Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider
Everyone has a lost wallet story. We all know how easily it can happen and how aggravating it can be to track everything down.With total fraud costing U.S. consumers $37 billion in 2010, according to Javelin, losing your wallet is more than a headache–it’s a serious threat to the health of your finances.
But some losers get lucky.
We’ve rounded up 11 awesome, true stories about lost wallets that were returned.
Kali Geldis, managing editor for the personal finance site MainStreet.com, realised her wallet was gone when she went to pay for her share of a celebratory dinner after signing a lease.
Distraught, she searched up and down for the wallet, but after minutes of looking it didn't turn up.
'I was going to go home and cancel all of my credit cards immediately, but after checking my accounts for a few hours, no new charges had shown up on any of my credit or debit cards,' she says.
'I declined it because it was someone random who I thought was just randomly friend-ing people who lived in Astoria on Facebook,' she says.
But seeing as she had to move in less than a week and would need her credit card and driver's licence to get a moving truck, suddenly the friend request made sense.
Kali friended the girl who then messaged her immediately, saying Kali could pick up the wallet anytime.
The wallet had been found on the street.
'There was nothing missing, so after I picked it up from her, I went to the store and bought her a nice bottle of wine and brought it to her house,' Kali says. 'She said thanks and gave me a hug.'
How did she find it?
'I overheard my name and was completely surprised that I could even do such a thing,' Groth says. 'I found the customer, thanked him, and he said, 'It's happened to me, and I'm just paying it forward.''
Business Insider's Megan Angelo recounts the time when her mother, a hospital staffer, had her wallet stolen out of a desk drawer.
'Two weeks later, her healthcare company called and said someone had called them saying they had the wallet and to call him,' she explains. 'She got in touch with the man, a truck driver, who said he had found it at the Vince Lombardi rest stop (100 miles from where we live).
He was at the rest stop then and was rifling through the wallet as they were on the phone. Suddenly a rest stop employee saw him, realised it was a woman's wallet, and they basically got into a wrestling match over it because she didn't believe he would give it back. She won the match, got on the phone with my mum and proudly told her she'd be sending it back -- and she did.'
10 years later, the purse mysteriously showed up by mail to her mum's address. Everything was intact.
Rudolph R. Resta probably never thought he'd see it again, but a security guard, Rafael Rodriguez, who works at the Times Square building--the paper's old headquarters on 229 W. 43rd St.--found it lodged between 'an old unused window and the masonry behind it.'
The wallet was a rare and exciting find, holding vintage photos and several pieces of Times-related identification, including membership to the paper's Blood Bank, proving Resta had indeed worked there.
After a reporter and another former Times' employee got in touch with Resta, the reunion was documented in a touching City Room blog post and video.
Months after having her wallet picked at a New York nightclub downtown, Angelo's wallet was returned to her apartment in an unmarked package.
Everything was inside. That is, everything but her boyfriend's photo.
'Too bad I had already spent a harrowing day at the DMV getting a new licence,' Angelo says.
Babb had been packing up his fishing equipment when he unwittingly left his wallet on the bumper or his car.
When he got home, he panicked, but just as he was hanging up with a credit card company, a man appeared at his front door, wallet in hand.
'He saw some money flying around the bridge ... got out in the middle of the bridge ... looked at my address on my I.D., brought the wallet and money to my home, and would not take anything for his efforts,' Babb told the Star News. 'Restores your faith in mankind.'
After finding a wallet before lunch one day, blogger Maurico Freitas decided to pull a little social experiment: 'Looking for Ian Shannon,' he tweeted while scanning Shannon's I.D., 'Found his wallet. I am having lunch at Aribtrageur until 1:30pm.'
10 people retweeted the message, and 20 minutes later Freitas received this reply: '@freitasm @greermcdonald - Hi there! Told Ian that you have his wallet. He'll be there in about 15 mins.'
A Los Angeles Times reporter's girlfriend lost her wallet after a booze-soaked party at the Ace Hotel.
Michael Krikorian had always made a point of knowing his cabbies' capitals, not only for conversation's sake, but as a means of being polite.
'The cab drivers are delighted, even proud, that as a stranger, an American, knows their capital,' he wrote in an L.A. Times essay.
The gesture worked in his favour: After searching high and low for the wallet, the cabbie from the previous night, Muhammad, got in touch with the girlfriend to inform her it was left in his cab.
'Mister Michael,' the hero said on the phone, 'It's Muhammad from last night. You remember me. From Bangladesh. You knew where I was from. My capital.'
Clearing out a theatre one night, Dave Graham, a volunteer, found a wallet that had been lost for decades.
The wallet had belonged to Louis Van Duisen in the 50s, back when he was dating David's mother, Sandra, in high school.
'I looked at those pictures and it just flooded the memories,' Van Duisen, whose parents are now deceased, told The Bellingham Herald. 'All those stories you hear from when mum and Dad were kids, it just brought them to life.'
With help from the theatre's executive assistant and volunteer coordinator, who used Google to find the son, Van Duisen got much more than a wallet, but a chance 'to be reconnected with the memories of my mum and dad.'
In Jacksonville, Fla., JD News Reader Eddie Quinn's mailman dropped off a lost wallet at a Post Office drop box in town.
The cash was gone, but the driver's licence and credit cards were intact, saving Quinn the hassle of having to obtain new ones.