You wouldn’t wish a stolen wallet or bag on your worst enemy. Not only does it cause immense frustration, but it is also a frightening thought that someone has details like your full name, address, and even your house, work, and car keys.
There are some things you should immediately do when your purse or handbag is stolen. We cover them below.
First, define whether your bag or wallet has actually been stolen…
…or if you have just misplaced it.
Try to remain calm (easier said than done, we know), and retrace your steps. When did you last have it? Did you bring it with you from the car? Could it have fallen out of you wallet and under the car seat? Did you place it down on the chair in the café? Maybe you left it in the supermarket when you were fumbling with all those groceries. Retrace your immediate steps first.
If you’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that your wallet or purse has in fact been stolen, act quickly. Read on.
Immediately cancel all credit cards
Get in touch with your bank and let them know what’s going on. You can also cancel certain types of cards quickly and easily online. This should be done with a real sense of urgency.
Try to recall all the keys that were in your bag
It’s really frightening to think that someone out there might have keys to your car or home, though it’s one assuring fact that unless you have a tag with your address on your house key (which isn’t common at all), a thief is unlikely to know where you live.
However, you must consider all the possibilities: if they have your driver’s license and work key, they can look you up online and find your place of employment. If you’re also listed on the White Pages residential directory, a thief could also do a bit of simple research to find out where you might live.
A little sleuthing – plus all the information we absentmindedly put on social media – can give a thief enough information to clearly identify you. And that’s a cause for concern. If they can identify where you live, and where you work, your security might be at risk.
Now, replace all your keys
Most house keys have no distinguishable way for someone to identify a home or address. However, if your licence has been stolen along with your keys, it doesn’t take much for a thief to put two and two together.
In fact, stealing a wallet or purse is a common act of thieves prepping themselves for a burglary. They steal a wallet, copy a key, memorise the address, and then hand the wallet in. You might think now that your wallet’s back, the risk has been removed, but you can’t be sure of what’s gone on behind the scenes.
Replacement car key
Just like the house key, it’s unlikely you’d have your number plate distinguishable by your key.
However most car models have an easily identifiable key that can allow someone to identify, at minimum, the brand of car. Depending on where your bag was stolen and the location of your car, a thief could quickly scrounge their immediate surrounds, find your car, and steal it… using your very own car key.
When you think of a replacement car key, your mind might automatically gravitate towards your car dealer, but with that comes long wait times and costly replacements. Did you know that Galmier is a mobile auto locksmith that can provide you with a replacement car key on site?
How can a dealership expect you to get your car to them when you don’t even have a car key? That’s one of the major hooks of a mobile locksmith in Melbourne like Galmier.
With your driver’s license clearly identifying your full name, and the power of the internet, a quick Google search is often enough to find out exactly where you work. Just like your home, it’s unsettling to know that someone has legitimate access to your office or shop.
While it’s likely that someone steals a purse or handbag for the immediate value – smartphones and cash – there are also those willing to dive a little deeper and attempt to steal your car or invade your home.
Replace your driver’s licence
In the case where your licence or learner permit has been stolen, you should apply for a replacement as soon as possible.
File a police report
This is done to help protect you against identity theft, rather than the actual goods you’ve had stolen. If something dodgy happens to your bank account or credit cards, you need a statement in writing. Head to your local police station to file an official report.
Identity theft in the 2014/15 financial year was up 6.7% from the previously recorded period, which was 2010/11. 1.6 million Aussies were victims of personal fraud. That’s an astonishing 8.5% of the entire population.
While the police force team won’t drop everything to find a missing wallet, it is still important you create and retain physical proof that your wallet (and its contents) has been stolen. This will help protect your credit rating and bank accounts should the ill fated occur.
- Photocopy all your cards and licence. Keep a copy securely at home.
- Have a card audit: keep your day-to-day card and a back up, and consider leaving that other credit card at home.
- When you’re out in busy places (or overseas on holiday) avoid pickpockets by keeping your wallet in a front (not back) pocket or securing your purse across your chest. Shorten the strap so your arm naturally drapes over the bag, providing extra protection.
- When out locally, keep your purse on your lap. Avoid hanging it over the back of your chair where it can be quickly and easily swiped.
Find a local, reliable, and qualified mobile locksmith
If your house or car keys have been stolen along with a purse or wallet, then you need to act quickly: call a qualified and reliable mobile locksmith who will swiftly come to you and provide peace-of-mind lock and key replacements. Call Alex at Galmier now or fill in this contact form.