How Do Lost Wallet Contents Influence Returns?

Lost wallet contents have been found to influence returns, with wallets that contain a photo of a baby being returned almost 90% of the time, compared with a return rate of less than 20% if there were no photographs at all. Wallets containing photographs of puppies have a return rate of more than 50%, with those containing an adult family portrait at a little less than 50%. Photographs in general are thought to make the wallet’s owner seem more relatable, which makes the finder feel less comfortable keeping it. Researchers believe that viewing a photograph of a baby especially triggers the part of the brain that is responsible for feeling empathy.

More about theft:

  • In 2012, Americans were estimated to have lost more than $21 billion US Dollars (USD) because of theft.

  • More than half of lost wallets that are returned do not contain the same amount of money they had prior to being misplaced, research suggests.

  • More than one-fourth of all child identity theft in the US is thought to be perpetrated by family members.

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