Fortunately, I've never lost my purse or wallet, but during instances where I momentarily thought that I lost my debit card or driver's license, panic surged through me. The automatic reaction when something happens that could compromise your everyday livelihood is fear and worry, but you need to overcome those sensations very quickly and focus to ensure nothing more happens. You want to be one of those people saying "it could be worse," not one who says, "they emptied my bank account and stole my identity." To see what steps you should take in the instance your purse or wallet is stolen just
- Call your bank and report your ATM card as stolen. Do this immediately, because your liability for money withdrawn by a thief increases within two days of the crime and you could end up with unlimited liability.
- Call your credit card companies and inform them that your cards have been stolen. Have your online account in front of you while making the call so that you can easily relay your last transaction. You don't want to have to rely on memory when you're already jittery from stress.
- Make an appointment with your DMV. It's not the best place to waste time, but toughing it out is better than getting in trouble for driving without a license.
- Call the credit reporting agencies and place a temporary security alert on your file. This way, if the thief tries to open any new credit in your name the lenders will be flagged to verify the identity before accepting the application.
- File a police report with your local precinct.