In 2020, the police registered about 11,634 offenses of purse snatching in the United States. One day while walking home from a corner bar nearby, a thief quickly grabs your purse. Been the first time something like that has happened to you; you’re left there panic-stricken. Once you get home, you decide to search on the internet “what to do when your purse gets stolen,” and that’s why you’re here.

Read along to get five things to do when your purse or wallet is stolen.

    1. Call Your Bank

Once you realize your purse is gone, the first thing you ought to do is to contact your bank and report missing debit cards. Once you contact them, they’ll request you to name out the recent transactions you’ve done to legitimize your claim. If the bank verifies you’re indeed the owner, they will flag your accounts to try and catch anyone who tries to use it.

Your cards will be placed on hold to ensure they cannot be used. The earlier you call your bank, the better. If you make the mistake of reporting such an incident to your bank after two business days, you will be liable for $50 in fraudulent charges. You don’t have to go physically to your bank to report; you can always contact them. There is a dedicated team in most banks whose primary work is to attend to fraud cases and reports of stolen cards. After you have reported the incident and all your cards are canceled, you’ll receive new cards in your mail.

      1. File a Police Report

Even though the police can’t be of much help once your possessions have been stolen, it’s a standard measure to file the report. What unusually happens is police receive a lot of similar reports and yours has to be unique for them to prioritize it. Regardless, it’s advisable to file a police report to avoid being impersonated in a crime.

The moment you realize your valuable possessions are gone, and there is nothing you can do about it, go to the nearest precinct. You also have the option of filing the report online. Once you finish filing the report, you’ll be given a number that you can use to track the progress of your report.

      1. Appeal for a Fraud Alert

You’ll need to contact the credit requesting agency and request them to place a fraud alert on your credit report. There are three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. The agency places a fraud alert on your report, which informs crediting companies to take extra caution when verifying any changes to your accounts. Below are the numbers for the credit bureau;

      • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
      • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
      • Experian: 1-888-397-3742

The fraud alert will be in effect for one year, but you can extend it. However, requesting an extension of the initial fraud report will require you to have an identity theft report or police report. More so, consider freezing your accounts as it will block any attempt of withdrawing money from your accounts or the fraudsters applying for a loan.

Even after requesting a fraud alert on your credit report, you have to read the report once in a while to make sure no one is using your identity to open new accounts or apply for loans. You can access one copy of each of the credit reporting agencies mentioned earlier at no charge once a year. Consider getting one report every four months to avoid paying to get the report. Crosscheck the reports to identify any transaction you don’t remember making, and if anything raises an alarm, contact the credit bureau as soon as possible.

      1. Make a List of Everything You Lost

I am sure your wallet or purse has plenty of cards that you should account for immediately when your wallet or purse gets stolen. It’s advisable to make a list of all the cards that were in your purse in order to start replacing them. To put it into perspective, you might need to replace your passport if it was in the purse when it got stolen. To remind you, here is a list of documents that might appear on the list and how to go about replacing them;

-Social Security Card
 Although most people don’t usually carry their social security card everywhere, this accounts for that one time that you do, and your purse/wallet gets stolen. You will need to contact your local Social Security Administration office and ask for a replacement social security card.

You’ll need to contact the US State Department to report your passport was stolen and start the process of getting a new one. If it gets stolen while in another country, go to the nearest US embassy or consulate.

-Insurance and Membership Cards
Call your health and auto insurance firm to let them know your cards were stolen and request new cards. If you have a health club membership card, contact the club to request a new one.

-Driver’s License
Contact your state’s department of transportation to report your driver’s license card was stolen and request for a new one.

  1. Change Your Locks

If your house keys were in your wallet/purse when it got stolen, consider changing your locks. You never know, maybe the thief’s main purpose was to get your house keys, and all your other stuff was collateral. With the keys, they can easily break into your house.