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Years ago, while I was at a crowded outdoor market, someone reached into my purse and plucked my credit card and debit card from my wallet. I didn’t even know they were missing until I got home and discovered a message on my answering machine from my card company, alerting me that there had been suspicious activity on my account.

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I quickly canceled my cards, contested the fraudulent charges and recovered — without a financial loss — from the incident. However, I consider myself fortunate. The situation might have been far worse if I’d been carrying other things in my wallet — items that could have created a financial nightmare for me if thieves had gotten their hands on them.

Although large data breaches like the recent one at credit reporting agency Equifax tend to grab headlines, more than 40 percent of identity fraud cases stem from a stolen or lost wallet or purse, according to claim data from insurance company Travelers. So, if you’re carrying around these things in your wallet, you’re likely putting your identity and finances at risk — learn how to protect yourself.

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1. Social Security Card

The No. 1 thing you should never carry in your wallet is your Social Security card.

“Your Social Security number is the most vital piece of information for…

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