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The How-To Lounge: When Your Wallet Is Lost or Stolen

The feeling in the pit of your stomach you get upon learning your wallet’s missing is about as awful as it gets. But knowing how to properly handle the situation can make a world of difference. Recently, I helped my friend through this mess, so let me share the truly invaluable tips I learned. To get the information just


  • First, determine that your wallet is in fact gone. It sounds silly, but trust me, you don’t want to go through the hassle unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Call your credit card company immediately. If you can, provide them with the last time you know that you had it on you. The sooner you get in touch with them the faster you can make sure nothing is charged.
  • Many stores often allow purchases on debit cards without asking for proper ID or a pin number. Get online and make sure there are no weird purchases taking place in your checking account. Then call your bank and ask for new checking and savings account numbers.
  • File a police report as soon as possible. In the likelihood that your ID ends up getting used or a stolen item purchased on your cards is sold, it’s important to have this information on file.
  • Consider using a purse with a zipper or at the very least, make sure your purse is always tucked under your arm. A purse with a large opening is prime territory for pickpockets.
  • And some last reminders: Do not keep your social security card in your wallet; make copies of all your personal information (ID, social security card, birth certificate, and passport); never leave your purse unattended!


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