Tips On How to Deal With Your Lost Purse
Last time you checked, it was in your bag. Now you realize that it’s not there and you can’t find it. You feel a wave of panic washing over you. As you check every possible place where you might have left it, you become more distressed as you take in what has just happened: You have lost your purse or wallet.
Since your purse carries identification cards that contain personal information, losing it could mean your identity is at risk and can be used in fraudulent activities. Your purse also contains credit and debit cards that thieves may abuse to make unauthorized transactions that can hurt your credit. Worrying over a lost purse is expected, but acting upon the incident swiftly can help prevent further damage and problems. Here are a few steps on how to do that.
As much as possible, try to recover your missing purse
Retracing your steps and remembering all the places you went to before you lost it may help. If you were out, it is also best to contact all the places you’ve visited that day and check if they have found your purse. Most malls, restaurants, offices and grocery stores have a lost and found department. It won’t hurt to take that much effort to double check with these establishments.
Notify your banks and credit card issuers of the incident
Do this as soon as you realize that your purse is missing. This creates an alert on your account and prevents any unauthorized person from using your credit and debit cards. For maximum security, you may cancel all your credit and store cards immediately. It is best to act with urgency and not waste another minute. Recognize that when dealing with this type of incident, it is better to expect the worst than to be lax and allow another person to steal from you. Worse, ruin your impeccable credit.
Unlike credit cards, you will be liable for unauthorized debit card transactions if you fail to report the incident right away. To inform your bank that your debit card has been stolen saves you the stress of dealing with withdrawals and overdraft charges. If your bank has been notified within 48 hours, liability for unauthorized debit charges will be reduced to $50. However, if you have failed to report the incident to your bank after 48 hours until 60 business days, your maximum loss will reach $500. Meanwhile, failure to report to your bank after 60 business days risks all the money that can be drawn from that account. For security purposes, avoid keeping records of your account numbers and security pin codes in your purse. That is a sure fire way of giving out all the money that you have stashed away in your debit card in any case your wallet or purse gets lost or stolen.
Report your missing purse to the authorities
A police report will come in handy when you’re filing insurance claims. It will also help if you have this document when dealing with liability concerns with your bank.
Call and file a report with credit reporting agencies
File a report with any of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Since you are a potential victim of identity theft, it is best that you request your credit bureaus to control and place restrictions on your credit record. Creditors will then be alerted and will apply a more strict verification process when someone tries to apply for credit using your personal information.
Take advantage of the free credit checks that you are entitled to
There is nothing paranoid about making a habit of checking if you have become a victim of identity theft.
Have your identification cards replaced as quickly as possible
You need to do this to prevent any further identity theft. It might be an inconvenience, but this is one important task that you must accomplish. Since most people keep their identification cards in their purses, the odds for thieves to use personal information to apply for a credit card or any other type of line of credit are very likely. Driver’s license, Social Security card and health insurance cards contain all the vital information that creditors, retailers and even minor financial institutes require to open accounts.
Identity theft can be prevented if we are more vigilant regarding our valuables. The inconvenience of having to deal with all your creditors, banks, credit bureaus, government institutes and the police is never something to look forward to. To avoid this trauma, make sure that all your valuables and items that bear important personal information and those that will put your credit at risk are safe. Manage the things that you carry around. Most of all, be aware and understand the risks of having your identity compromised.