What to Do If Your Wallet is Stolen
Her Purse was Stolen
A few days ago someone broke into my wifes car and stole her purse. After they removed the purse from her car they stole all of the contents including a credit card, debit card, $100 in cash, her license, and other various items, but left behind her Social Security card. We know this because the purse was dumped into a neighbors trash can. Upon seeing a purse in their trash they called the police. The police found a card in my wifes purse for the business she works for. They called the business owner, who then notified my wife.
What Needed to be Done?
After research and speaking to people who have been in similar situations we finally nailed down exactly what we need to do. My intention is to provide a list of items to do if your purse or wallet is stolen. This way you can save hours and resolve the issue as quickly as possible with little damage. The list should be followed in order.
- File a police report – you will need the case number and officers badge number.
- Reach out to your bank and credit card companies and inform them. Then cancel the stolen cards and order new ones.
- If your Social Security card was stolen or in the possession of a criminal place a credit freeze on yourself. More info here.
- If your license was stolen, find 2 forms of identification (just in case) and visit the local issuer for licenses. They will provide you a temporary copy if necessary.
- Sign up for identity theft protection service like Life Lock for at least a few months.
- Closely monitor banking activity.
File a police report – Your bank and credit card companies will ask for police report information and if you don’t have it, they will ask that you file one. This saves you run around if you KNOW your card was stolen.
Reach out to bank and credit card companies – This should be obvious, but canceling the cards will eliminate the risk of those cards being used in the future.
Place a credit freeze on yourself – This will make it harder for people (including yourself) to open accounts in your name. If you have had your license or SSN stolen or in the possession of a criminal I would highly recommend doing this.
Sign up for identity theft protection service – Doing this will help you to receive alerts if there is suspicious activity in your credit file, unauthorized change in address, various applications are filed, etc.
Closely monitor banking activity – If someone is in possession of your SSN, license, or both. It is easy to find ways to obtain new copies of cards through social engineering. Closely monitor your credit cards and banking account for any unusual activity.
Wrapping it up
The last thing to do is to identify a way to prevent this from occurring in the future. For us it is obviously not leaving valuables in our cars.
That is everything I identified that we needed to do. It took a lot of time and research and I hope this is helpful to someone. I am sure there is more that can be done, please feel free to share in the comments.