This happened to me!

DON’T BE THE NEXT VICTIM! Follow the advice in the video – don’t make the mistakes I did.

(Sorry for the streaming issues – please don’t give up on this video! Watch it all the way through!)

This exact thing really did happen to me last Tuesday – January 2nd when I stopped to get gas before work. It was 6am and I went to our new neighborhood Quick Trip. I was fortunate in that my keys were in the ignition and not in my purse. Also my cell phone was in my cup holder – had it been in my purse then it too, would have been gone, and I wouldn’t have been able to call the police and my credit card companies right away. Overall, I count my blessings that the person didn’t hold me up with a gun or take my car. He was using my cards and checks (with my license as “proof” of identity) within 10 minutes of the theft.

If you do have your purse or wallet stolen, here are some things you need to do as soon as possible, and in this order:

  • Call the non-emergency police number and tell them what happened. File a police report, because when fradulent charges start appearing on your credit, you’ll want to have proof for the disputes.
  • Call your bank and cancel your debit cards (that’s the first thing you probably want to cancel so they don’t start taking money out of your checking account). If charges have already been made, write down the date, time, business, address/location and amount. Officers might be able to go back to the scene and obtain a copy of the videotape (which the stores don’t keep for more than a couple days).
  • Notify your bank if the thief also has your checks so they can put a hold on your account – then go to a branch and close your accounts.
  • Call your credit card companies and tell them what happened – they have been through the “drill” and will do what’s necessary to block your account from use. In my case, they were able to tell me right away what charges were made – both attempted and successful. Again, write down the date, time, business, address/location and amount of any fraudulent charges for the police report.
  • IMPORTANT: Contact the three credit reporting agencies and notify them! I put a 90-day block on my account so if someone tries to open a credit account in my name they will automatically be denied. You can contact them to place a fraud alert on your information by using these numbers/websites:
    •  
      • I called Equifax first and they offered to contact the other two – it was really nice to be able to cross off two more phone calls from my list!
  • Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to report your license stolen.
  • Contact your health plan administrator to report your cards stolen and ask for new ones with a different number on them.
  • Once you have more information on fraudulent charges made to your accounts, continue to provide them to the detective(s) working on your case. I was able to download copies of forged checks from my online banking site, and fax them to the detective.

Here are some things you can do NOW – to prevent becoming a victim, or at least make recovery easier and faster:

  • Make FRONT & BACK Xerox copies of everything in your wallet – not just credt & debit cards, but also your license, library cards, health cards, ANYTHING that you carry on a regular basis. Keep these papers in your “safe place” at home.
  • DON’T carry your SSN Card in your purse – keep it in your “safe place” at home.
  • Keep a copy of all your account numbers (checking, savings, etc.) in the same “safe place”

Here are a few more tidbits you might not have known:

  • Most gas stations have cameras inside the store, protecting their interests. They do not usually have cameras at the pumps, protecting yours.
  • This type of crime is so prevalent, only a very small percentage is solved. No matter how much you’d like to hang the guy that did this, chances are, he will get away scot free.
  • Even if you suspect someone is the thief, if you didn’t see them actually do it, there’s nothing the police can do.

I’m still learning new things day by day, but hopefully what I’ve learned from this experience will help someone enough so they do not have to go through this. PLEASE share the video with your friends and family. I pray that this never happens to you!

PS – many thanks to my friend LeAnne for passing the video & link along to me. I only wish you had received it a few days earlier and then maybe I wouldn’t have been a victim.

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