Having a wallet or purse stolen is traumatic. Hopefully it won't happen to you. But in the event that it does, every minute counts.
The first step toward minimizing a theft is to prepare for one. While everything is safely in your possession, make photocopies of both sides of all your cards. (Or make a list of all of your account numbers and the toll-free phone numbers to call if the cards go missing.) Keep this information in a safe place, and remember to update it periodically. In addition to credit cards, remember to keep track of any insurance, identification or club cards that might have your information on them.
Take Action Checklist
If your wallet or purse is lost or stolen, you'll need to immediately:
- File a report with the police.
- Cancel your credit, debit and ATM cards.
- Notify us so we can issue you new account numbers and stop payments on any checks, if necessary.
- Contact the three credit-reporting agencies: Equifax (1-800-525-6285), Experian (1-888-397-3742) and TransUnion (1-800-680-7289).
- Alert your department of motor vehicles (if your driver's license was stolen).
- Notify your utility companies that someone may try to get new service using your information.
- Change the locks on your home and car (if your keys were stolen).
As you notify the proper parties about the loss, be sure to keep a log of all conversations. Request written verification that accounts have been closed and keep copies of all documentation that you send or receive. Make sure any replacement cards you receive have new account numbers. Review your credit reports regularly and have them corrected, if necessary.