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Lost and Found

by Ashley Viloria

Being a tourist in a new country can be very exciting. Losing your wallet – not so much. In his own words, here’s how Paul used Spokeo to return a wallet to a tourist who had lost it while travelling in Paul’s home country:

It was early in the morning and my wife was walking to the church where she works. She saw a wallet lying on a sewer grate against the curb on the street. Had the wallet moved just an inch in either direction, it would have fallen down into the sewer and never would have been found. My wife brought the wallet home to ask what we should do about it.

Now, over the past ten years or so, my wife and I have probably found about 6 wallets or other items needing to be returned to people who often travel to Berlin as tourists. This case was different in that we could immediately see that it belonged to a traveller from the United States, and it contained all of her credit cards, a driver’s licence and health insurance card. I could only imagine the panic the young lady who owned the wallet must have been going through.

If we had no other avenue available, we would have either turned the wallet in to the police or to the American embassy; however, we knew that it would take plenty of time for them to take action, all the while, the young lady would be panicking and having to go through the trouble of cancelling her credit cards, having family wire her money from home, etc. Since she was in another country, it would likely be impossible for her to get a new driver’s license or health insurance card. By the time the police would’ve tracked her down, she would likely already have left the country and had already gone through considerable hassle – not to mention ruining her holiday. Therefore, I decided simply to try to track her down myself.

Fortunately, her cards offered a lot of information, such as her name, the name of several dependents, and her address in the United States. With that, I began an internet search. Google alone allowed me to narrow down the search and find this lady quite quickly; however, most of the contact links were outdated.

I did find the names and numbers of certain relatives of hers. I was rather torn at that moment because due to the time difference (her home in the United States being 10 hours behind Berlin) –  if I were to call a relative asking how to find her, I would be waking someone in the middle of the night. On the other hand, given the seriousness of the matter, it might’ve been worth it.

It was then I saw another link on the Google search with her name and I clicked on it. It happened to be Spokeo. What was good about your site is that you had all sorts of contact information about this lady, past and present. As for telephone numbers, there was an indication of what numbers were landlines and what were mobile telephones. Bingo! Certainly this young lady wouldn’t go anywhere without her mobile telephone, right?

I decided to text all the mobile numbers. If she were asleep, she would see the message when she got up, and if she were awake, I am sure she would respond immediately. I simply wrote “Hello, Melissa. Are you missing your wallet?” It was not long before I got a response saying “Yes!!! Do you have it?” – and then we arranged to meet in town.

Melissa was overjoyed, as you can understand. She took my wife and me out for drinks and we really got along well. [Because of Spokeo], her trip was saved.

We’re so happy we were able to help you return Melissa’s lost wallet, Paul! 

Need help locating someone? There are many reasons why people search for others online – whether it’s to help return a missing wallet to a worried traveller, locate a long-lost loved one, return a pet back to its family, or help uncover a scammer. Whatever the reason is, Spokeo can help!

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