Nine Things to Do When Someone’s Stolen Your Wallet or Purse

Imagine you reach for your wallet only to find that it’s gone. Panic hits, right? All of your information is in your wallet. You do a quick mental search, trying to figure out when you last had it. Did someone steal it? Did you set it down and forget it? And then reality hits, it doesn’t matter how it was lost or stolen. Right now, what matters most is preventing anyone from using your information to their advantage.

Here are the nine things to do when someone’s stolen your wallet or purse.

1. Call your bank and cancel your ATM/debit card. Immediately, get on the phone and contact your bank. If you have an ATM or debit card in your wallet you want that cancelled right away so the money in your account stays in your account. The bank representative will likely cancel your card immediately, issue you a new one and send paperwork so you can report any fraudulent charges. They may actually go over the past few purchases with you on the phone.

2. Call your credit card companies and report your card stolen. Once you hang up with the bank, keep the phone in your hand and contact your credit card companies. Let them know your wallet has been stolen and to cancel your cards. They won’t close your account, they’ll simply issue you new cards with new account numbers on them so don’t worry.

3. Call the police. Unless you were assaulted or the police happen to be close by, they’ll likely ask you to come into the station to file a report. It’s important to follow through on this because many institutions can only take action to find the thief if you file a police report. Because identity theft is common, many police precincts have identity theft reporting processes available online as well.

4. Call the three credit reporting agencies and have a fraud alert placed on your account. This is also known as a credit freeze and it requires creditors to take extra measures to verify your identity before issuing credit. It will help prevent thieves from opening new accounts under your name.

  • Experian PO Box 9595, Allen, TX 75013-9595 Tel: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
  • Equifax PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 Tel: 800-525-6285
  • Trans Union PO Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022 Tel: 800-680-7289

5. Make a list of all the items in your purse or wallet. If you have a phone, call your cell phone company and report your phone stolen. You don’t want people charging you your minutes or data plan.

6. Report your missing driver’s license to your local DMV and get a new one.

7. Change the locks on your home. If your keys were in your purse you want to change the locks on your home. The thief has your driver’s license and knows where you live.

8. Order a credit report from each of the three companies and stay on top of your information by reviewing your statements thoroughly. Consider ordering credit monitoring service.

9. Consider purchasing identity theft protection. Identity theft protection is a service that helps you manage all of the tasks and responsibilities if your identity is stolen. They can be a real asset in a time of crises.

When someone has stolen your wallet or purse, it’s easy to panic. The thief may have access to all of your personal and financial information. Quick and thorough action, however, can prevent a thief from being able to steal more from you. It can prevent them from obtaining credit or accessing your money. And identity theft protection can make the process much less stressful. Protect yourself!

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