What Should You Do If Someone Steals Your Wallet or Handbag!!!

Real Estate Agent with I am a licensed referral agent in NJ

                              What You Should Do If Someone Steals Your Wallet Or Handbag!!!

There is a tremendous amount of personal information in your wallet and for the ladies, in their handbags as well. That quantity of information translates to a large amount of liability. Consider if someone steals or finds your wallet they have:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Driver's license
  • Credit cards or ATM

And for many people:

  • Any personal notes, keepsakes, or phone numbers you had written in you wallet
  • Pictures of your family
  • Your gym ID
  • Your company ID
  • Your school ID
  • Your Social Security Card (which should be in the safe deposit box, NOT your wallet)


The main point here is that they have a lot of information on you. And all of that information makes ID theft a cinch.

There is a booming "full service" black market for identity cards and financial information. The go on the top of that list, next all of your credit cards and gas cards, then your driver's license, followed by the less important cards of health insurance, gym memberships, and other cards. Generally international selling of stolen identities, everything down to the sale of credit account numbers, accurate PIN numbers, and your mother's maiden names. With the increased popularity of the Internet, on-line black market hubs appear one month with a certain overnight website, then close up shop and shift to another hard-to-trace international website the next month.


Stolen identification cards are in huge demand right now. One of the main reasons stolen cards are in demand is because it is far easier to find work with a state-issued ID. So if you're an illegal immigrant working in Los Angeles, your chances of finding a job skyrocket if you can deliver a California driver's license.

Some advice:

The simplest and most helpful piece of advice is this: don't store all of your credit cards in your wallet, because if you lose that wallet, or if it is stolen, you don't have any credit cards left. Many people have learned this the hard way.

What I do suggest that you do the following today, not when your wallet or handbag is stolen.

** Make a copy, front and back,  of ALL the cards that are in your wallet: ATM/Debit cards go on the top of that list, next all of your credit cards and gas cards, then your driver's license, followed by the less important cards of health insurance, gym memberships, and other cards. Generally speaking, the list should be prioritized by financial liability.  These copies will have all the information you will need should your wallet or handbag be stolen. Keep this list in a safe place, such as either a safe in your house, wherever you keep your valuables in your house.

Should Your Wallet Be Stolen:

                Call your ATM/debit card companies first. Report your ATM/debit cards as lost or        stolen. Many  banks will walk you through the process and are very understanding. With that said, the reason to call banks before credit card companies is that not all banks have theft protection.           

              Next, call your credit card companies. Here's the good news with credit cards: these compainscompanies     lawfully must have theft protection. If your credit card gets taken and someone uses it, credit card companies only hold you accountable for the first $50 dollars.

 Next, call one of the three major credit bureaus. They are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Contact one with a fraud/security alert and they will contact the other two. Their contact information is listed below. It is recommended you run an "Initial Security Alert" which requires creditors to confirm your identity before extending your credit. This is useful if someone tries to open up a credit line or other account in your name. The alert is functional for 90 days and does not affect your credit score. If you know that your credit has been used fraudulently then you can put an "Extended Fraud Victim Alert" on it. This alert is good for 7 years.

 Next, to call on your gas card. theives can only run up so much money on this card in 24 to 72 hours.

 The next thing you must do is to file a police report. This will give you legal documentation that your wallet was stolen or lost. Some credit card companies and banks require you have this documentation. 

 Go down to the DMV and get another driver's license. Some states require the police report if your license has been stolen.

 The last really important call is your health insurance card. Health insurance fraud is an increasing concern in the United States. In this type of fraud, an imposter will show up to a health clinic or hospital and get treated using the victim's insurance information. Many times, they will just have to make the co-payment, and often they will leave the victim with the rest of the bill, both costing a great deal of money

 Finally, deal with all the cards of lesser importance like your gym membership, student IDs, grocery club cards, etc...

Contact information for major credit bureaus:

Consumer Fraud Division
Phone: 800-525-6285 or: 404-885-8000
Fax: 770-375-2821
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian's National Consumer Assistance
Phone: 888-397-3742
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013

Fraud Victim Assistance Department
Phone: 800-680-7289
Fax: 714-447-6034
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634-6790



Posted by


Nancy Larson   Direct:  609-575-6162



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Vickie Nagy
Palm Springs, CA

What a wonderful post. I have followed your advice already...copies made and filed. Thanks for posting.

Jul 05, 2008 05:41 PM #1
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

Good points, my identity was stolen a year ago June...it's been a night mare.  They applied for so many credit cards...my credit went down the toilet...for a while...I did what you are suggesting...and so far..it's half good!

Jul 05, 2008 05:43 PM #2
Pam Winterbauer
Pam Winterbauer Real Estate - San Ramon, CA
"Providing Blue Ribbon Service"

Excellent post with lots of information necessary to prevent idenity theft. 

Jul 05, 2008 06:06 PM #3
Nancy Larson
I am a licensed referral agent in NJ - Hutchinson Island, FL

Used my 18 years of retail banking experience and thought it might be a good post. Make sure the Social Security Card is out of the wallet. That's the ticket to identity heaven.

Vickie, I am glad you did....

Karen...I am so sorry, I too had fraud, but mine was thru my Brokerage account

Pam...glad to be of help.

Jul 05, 2008 07:04 PM #4
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

This is a good post and helpful in case one needs it should the situation arise. One can't be too careful, hang onto one's purse and wallet.

Jul 05, 2008 07:51 PM #5
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Very helpful post. Unfortunately, to steal your credit these days, they dont even need to steal your wallet , or even the card. all they have to do is have the information off the card, and voila! they can charge many things online.

Jul 05, 2008 10:29 PM #6
Nancy Larson
I am a licensed referral agent in NJ - Hutchinson Island, FL

Bob and Carolin, the wallet or purse holds so much.

Kervin, so true, but that is only ONE card, the average person has three credit cards in their wallet, please other cards as well.

Thanks for the comments.

Jul 06, 2008 01:39 AM #7
Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team
Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals Lynn911.com - Dallas, TX

Dallas homes for sale, Call 972-699-9111 Lynn 911 Dallas Top Real Estate Agent Team, Dallas homes for sale, Dallas home foreclosures for sale, Dallas apartments for rent, Dallas condos for rent, Dallas apartment rentals, http://www.lynn911.com , http://www.homes-for-sale-dallas.com, I just lost my person wow that was an all day affair running around new everything, banks, police and etc. I am still suffering HOWEVER I just wanted my purse back it was couture purse worth $2K.... try to replace that

Jul 06, 2008 04:19 AM #8
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

This was an awesome article and Im flagging it for a feature! Nice work!

Jul 06, 2008 04:26 AM #9

my wallet was stolen yesterday (Sunday) and the banks and everything else is closed due to President's day today. I thought the banks had a 27/7 policy for this. But i did get a police report done. I don't remember having my sss card in my wallet thank goodness.



Feb 18, 2013 01:15 AM #10
Cassie Pauley

I had mine stolen today. I kept everything in mine including bus money to go to the local VA to volunteer. Guys with a past should not be trusted.

Mar 10, 2015 03:11 PM #11
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