- Photocopy everything in your wallet, front and back, and keep in a safe place other than your purse or wallet. It makes the list of phone calls and credit card cancellations that much more efficient.
- Besides photocopying your drivers license, it's good to have another back up ID like a passport. I would be lost without mine right now.
- List or photocopy all gift cards, making note of their serial numbers. Most stores can re-issue them if they have this proof.
- Carry your checkbook and debit card separately. Had I done this, I could have simply re-ordered a new debit card. Instead, I had to totally change my checking account and will have to contact everyone/company that automatic payments are made to so they will go through.
- Get a mailbox with a lock. When you re-order your drivers license, new cards and checks you want to make sure the thief can't get to these too. Remember- if he/she has your drivers license, they have your address. Another option is to have things shipped to a different secure location, like your office or a P.O. Box.
- Write down the serial numbers of anything that has one- your purse, your wallet, your cell phone, camera, etc. You can submit anything with a serial number to the police so it can be traced more easily.
- Don't carry anything with your social security number on it. Most people don't, but you never know. I put a fraud alert on mine with all three credit bureaus immediately just for the extra protection.
- And the lesson that I should have known.... don't leave purses or valuables in the car! Even if they are not in plain sight, a thief could see you walk into a store without a purse and assume your lovely handbag is still in the car... oh how hindsight is 20/20!
Luckily, everything is replaceable and the things taken are just things. Slightly inconvenient to replace things, but still just things. So please learn from my mistake and carry those purses with you... they are meant to be fashion, not car, accessories after all!