Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Losing your purse or wallet is never fun. In fact, it is not only stressful, but it can be a huge hassle as well. Not only do you lose cash you might have had in your purse or wallet but everything else along with it. While it’s not fun to lose cash, it is typically going to be the last of your worries. Losing something with so many valuable things at once can begin to put you in a state of panic. Instead of panicking, follow the tips below and you should be able to minimize the potential damage that can occur.

  1. Think Of Everything That Was In It

Perhaps the most important thing that you are going to want to do is take time to figure out what was in your purse or wallet. It is important to identify what was in your purse or wallet because it will effectively dictate what the next steps should be and in which order. You want to think about everything that you could have possibly had in your wallet or purse leaving nothing forgotten. Create a list and you will be able to come up with solutions to each item that has a potential solution.

  1. Look For It

While you might be initially thinking that you lost or had it stolen, you still want to look for it unless you are absolutely positive. Without being sure that you couldn’t have misplaced it somewhere in your home, car, or office, you won’t want to take the more serious actions that you should take to protect yourself. Therefore, you want to be absolutely certain that it is lost or stolen prior to making any more moves.

  1. Call Up Your Bank

When you lose your wallet or purse along with your bank/debit card, you are going to want to call the bank immediately to report it stolen. By doing this, you are going to be able to avoid the card from being used without your authorization. This will effectively cancel your card. Your bank will then issue you a brand new one with a new number. This is the first thing that you want to do because it can be the most difficult to address if someone does have access to it.

  1. Call Up Credit Card Companies

You are then going to want to call up all of the credit card companies that you have cards with. During the process of identifying what was in your purse or wallet, you should have come up with a list of cards that were in it. This will allow you to effectively report each card that was in the wallet or purse as lost or stolen. This, like with your debit card, will immediately cancel the existing card you have and your credit card company will immediately issue you a new one. This can keep whoever has access to your existing card from being able to rack up unauthorized charges that you would have to later fight.

  1. Driver’s License

You are going to want to deal with your driver’s license as soon as possible. Your driver’s license is one of the valuables that are likely in your purse or wallet that can be effectively used for identity fraud. The best way to deal with your license is to contact your local Motor Vehicle Association and report the loss with them. They are likely going to ask you to report the license as stolen with the police which is always a good idea. By reporting the license as being stolen or lost with the local police department, you will be able to get the loss or theft registered in the system which can help keep you from dealing with further damage from it.

  1. Social Security Card

If you are someone that keeps your social security card with you at all times in your wallet, you will want to report it as lost immediately. You can get a replacement social security card at your local social security office or through an online service such as https://applicationfiling.com. The best way to protect yourself if you know that your social security number is vulnerable is to file the loss with the FTC and call the IRS identity protection unit. Doing these things is going to be a good way to minimize the risk of being a victim of fraud. Along with this, you will want to sign up for a credit monitoring service that will help to monitor any and all activity from your social security number. Having this type of monitoring service will alert you to potential cases of fraud as they are happening.

  1. Freeze Your Entire Credit

Another big thing that you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim is by freezing your entire credit. Now, this method is only going to be effective if you freeze your credit at all three agencies. Therefore, you will want to be sure to freeze at each agency individually. Each will allow you to freeze your credit online easily. You should be freezing your credit with Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.

  1. Get A Free Credit Report

You will want to try to access your free credit report sometime after you get your purse or wallet stolen so you will be able to manually check to see whether or not any credit accounts were opened recently from the time you lost it. Along with this, you will even be able to check for potential fraudulent spending.

By following the different tips above, you should be able to reduce the amount of panic that you have about losing or having your wallet or purse stolen. While there is nothing you can do to guarantee that you are able to get everything you lost back, by taking these steps, you should be able to reduce the risk associated with having all of your personal information, credit cards, and bank cards in the wild.