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What to do if you wallet, purse or handbag is stolen or lost

The first thing you're going to do before you read this article is get into a total panic. It's happened to me and you get an icy feeling that starts in your toes and goes all the way to your head. "OMG.. Where did I leave my purse?" With the festive season around the corner taking care of your handbag or wallet becomes even more of a priority as thieves prowl the shopping malls.


Before heading out to do you holiday shopping take stock of what is in your wallet, purse or handbag and leave non-essentials at home. The more lightweight your personal items, the easier it will be to handle and look after.


Ladies, keep a firm hold on your handbag. If it's a shoulder bag, wrap your hand around the bottom of the bag as well. That way thieves will not be able to 'grab and run'. If the bag has a zipper, use it to keep the bag closed.


Why do mean think it's safe to carry their wallets in back pocket. Pickpockets are experts at gently removing items from pockets and the back pocket is the easiest of all to pick.

Put you wallet in a front trouser pocket, or in a shirt pocket.

Having your wallet or purse is a shock, especially if the thieves make off with your credit and debit cards and ID book, and more often than not your driver's licence as well. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and credit card fraud if your wallet or purse are stolen.

  1. The first priority is to notify your bank immediately that your credit and debit cards have been stolen or lost. You do not want to give thieves any time to empty out your accounts. By contacting your bank they will immediately stop the card/s, making them useless to anyone who has them in their possession.

    It's always a good idea to have the numbers written down somewhere in case this happens. Along with these numbers make sure to jot down any important contact numbers to phone in the event of lost or stolen cards.

    A replacement debit card can be arranged immediately with your bank, but a credit card may take from 5 to 7 days.

  2. File a police report at the nearest police station. With so much identify theft taking place these days, a police report will validate that your ID book or driver's licence was stolen and will ease the process of applying for replacement documents.

    Keep certified photocopies of any important documents such as your driver's license and ID book. You can have photocopies certified at your local police station, and bank also have an official that can certify documents for you.

Nobody wants to have their wallet, purse or handbag stolen, but it can happen if you don't take the proper precautions. It's better to be prepared in the event that it does happen in the future.