What to do after your wallet or purse has been stolen

What to do after your wallet or purse has been stolen

If your wallet or purse is stolen or lost you may have only minutes to protect your finances and your identity. Your wallet is just what identity thieves want. Identity thieves use your credit card and checking accounts to open new accounts using your name. That could create problems for you that can take months to detect, and even longer to fix.

If you wallet is lost or stolen, the Federal Trade Commission suggests that you:

  • File a report with the police immediately. Get a copy of the report in case your bank, credit card company or insurance company needs proof of the crime.
  • Cancel each credit and charge card. Get new cards with new account numbers.
  • Report missing credit cards to each (all) of the major credit reporting agencies:
    • Equifax -  1-800-525-6285 or (800)-685-1111
    • Experian -  1-888-397-3742  
    • Transunion - 1-800-680-7289  or (800) 888-4213
  • Report the loss to your bank. If any information about your bank accounts was present in your wallet or purse (such as a check book, canceled check or deposit slip)then cancel checking and savings accounts and open new ones and stop payments on outstanding checks.
  • If your ATM card was in the wallet, get a new ATM card, account number and PIN or password.
  • Call your utilities, including your telephone company. Tell them that someone may try to get new service using your identification.
  • Report your missing driver's license to the department of motor vehicles. Get a new number that's not your social security number.
  • If your keys were taken, change the locks on your home. Remember, they now know where you live. Don't give an identity thief access to even more personal property and information.

More information:



For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.