Category Archives: Purse/Wallet Theft

Road Trip: Money and Luggage

Here are a couple of nifty ideas from friends who have traveled on road trips:

Tag the Bag

Even though you’re not flying, here are a couple of labeling tips in your bags are somehow lost or stolen.

  1. Put on a luggage tag on the bag with your home address
  2. Put a label inside your bags (tape a card or a piece of paper to the inside) as a backup

Call for Credit

  1. Call credit card companies and let them know the dates you’ll be traveling and the cities you’ll be visiting. Why? Because if they see activity outside of your normal routine and they don’t know you’re traveling, they may put a security alert on your account, which means your credit card will be rejected.
  2. Reader Input: Letting the credit card company know travel dates was helpful for Mark, one of your fellow readers. His credit card company saw a charge AFTER he’d returned from Mexico and called to ask him about it.  Turns out they caught the fraud before he did!

Makin’ Copies

  1. Remember to make photocopies of all the credit cards (front and back) you’re taking with you.
  2. Give one copy to a friend or family member (who is not traveling with you…)
  3. Keep your copies in a different area from your wallet (i.e. luggage, locked glove compartment) in case you need to call and cancel your card.
  4. Bonus Tip: Write down the phone number you need to call your credit card company in case it’s lost or stolen.

– Susan

Safe Purse, Safe Wallet – Tips for Safe Shopping

Making post-holiday returns? Or maybe getting those terrific shopping deals? Either way – here are quick tips to keep your purse and wallet secure and safe while deal-hunting.

  • Zip It. Choose a purse/bag with a strap and a zipper and keep it closed.
  • Keep ‘Em Separated.  Keep your keys and phone separate from your handbag. Why? If your purse is stolen, you’ll be stranded with no car keys and no immediate way to call anyone.
  • Pocket It.  Quick errand? Leave your purse or wallet at home and carry only what you need in pants or shirt pocket.
  • Never Been Touched.  Take rarely used credit cards from your wallet and store them in a safe place at home.
  • No SS#s. Carry only what you need.  Medical cards or other ID cards often use your social security number as your account number – carry your card only as needed.
  • SmartPhone. Your smartphone (the one with all your PIN numbers and passwords in it?), make sure it’s password-locked when not in use.
  • Big Ones.  Big purse? Carry it with one arm across it or with the strap crossing your body. Wear the strap under your jacket or sweater.
  • Where’s Wallet? To minimize leaving your wallet somewhere, establish the habit of returning it a secure inside pocket.
  • Clean Receipts Out. After shopping, take credit card, ATM and store receipts from your purse or wallet and put them in an envelope or folder.
  • The Mentalist. Before each shopping trip, mentally itemize what’s in your purse and wallet. This will give you an idea of what to report to an insurance agent in case of theft.
  • At Home and at the Office. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers (bank, credit card companies, insurance agent) at home and office. Why? Many people use lunch hours for shopping (maybe you?). In case of a theft or loss, you’ll have emergency numbers nearby.

Happy Shopping!

– Susan

Stop – That’s My Purse w/My Phone, Wallet, Makeup … oh crap….

Make your life after a purse or wallet theft as easy as possible.

How? Keep a copy of your wallet’s inventory form in a safe place at home and at your office.

Why? So you have the information on hand when you call credit card companies about the theft. It also helps jog your memory about what is in your wallet and purse.  You may be covered by insurance…

Here’s advice on getting it together after your purse is stolen.

Tom Cruise Shows Up at Law School

Socialite Life mentions that Tom Cruise (who is currently filming in Boston) showed up at an entertainment law class at Harvard.

I don’t believe anyone famous showed up while I was in school (of course, we’d have to take into account that there were many days when I wasn’t actually in class, so I may have missed something….).

Here’s info to pass on to your kids – written by our college blogger, Lauren –

Wallet Stolen at College – First Things to Do

Surviving the First Month of College

Top 10 Roommate Tips

Actually, I’m not sure that Tom Cruise went to college – this guest appearance at Harvard may have been it.

– Susan

As College Students We Have Nothing Anyways, So What Happens When You Get The Little Bit You Have Stolen?

by Lauren, our college blogger

This past semester I was pick-pocketed on Chicago’s ‘El’ after a night out! Not exactly a great way to end a fun night out with friends. The train was packed and everyone was squished closely together…making it very easy for someone to reach into my bag and take my wallet. Needless to say I learned the hard way by loosing my room key, my school ID, my public transportation pass, my cash cards, and gift cards. Here is some advice on what I learned on what I will be doing to prevent this happening again in the future.

School ID

  • As a college student, this is pretty much your life on a plastic card. Entrance into buildings, mailroom access, your campus cash, and more are all programmed into this card. The first thing I did when I got back to my dorm after noticing my school ID was missing was go to my RA’s room and let them know my wallet had been stolen. This was the smartest move I could have done because the RAs were able to give me a temporary access pass until I was able to go buy another school ID during the week.

Campus Safety

  • PUT THIS NUMBER IN YOUR PHONE!I found myself without it, and when my RAs were not answering their doors at 3:00 AM I desperately needed this number to get back into my room. I had to call my mother so she could look up the number. They were able to help me right away and were super helpful when I filled out a crime report the next day. Something a lot worse could have happened and I would have been in a lot of trouble without this number.

Credit Cards

  • This is an obvious one, but if there is any sort of credit or debit card make sure it cancel it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. The first thing I did after getting into my room was call the banks and go online to their websites to make sure my cards were canceled. The next day I went to my bank and made sure everything was canceled and told them the situation. They gave me a temporary ATM card to use while they mailed me my new card.

Watch Yourself

  • I was in a very crowded train when this happened and it was standing room only when my wallet was taken out of my purse. I always thought nothing like this would happen to me if I was with my purse at all times. Be aware of the people around you. I moved when I noticed a sketchy person close to me, but I think it may have been too late….Keep personal items in your view, even though my purse was on my arm I still was not paying attention. If I had my purse in front of me in my line of vision none of this would have happened.

Travel Lightly

  • Finally, make sure when you are go out you only take with you what you really need. I didn’t need to be carrying both of my debit cards, my gift cards, or even my work ID. My room key was also attached to my wallet and I would have been much better off if I put it on a separate key chain with my other keys. If you are going out ONLY bring what you know you will need, because it is so much better to have only a few things taken than your whole life inside a wallet

Changing Purses Ladies? Take a Picture.

I was reading a favorite blog, Luxist, when I came across their Handbag of the Day, the Lanvin Reporter Bag, pictured here. It reminded me of when we were writing about purse theft….

Usually when an outfit changes (or a mood…..) women  change purses, and often there is sorting, filing and throwing of contents.

We were asking policemen what was most important – many said it is important to write down/take photos of whatever goes in the purse so you can recall items in case the purse is stolen.

The real gem? Don’t forget the purse! So many times we’re  concerned about the wallet and credit cards and forget the purse! Take a photo of the purse itself and include the designer, where you got it, the cost, any identifying marks – because the purse may be recovered or even covered by your insurance.

And since Lanvin’s Reporter Bag comes in at $1,515, you KNOW you’ll want that replaced.

Here’s good info on what to do in case your purse or wallet is stolen.

– Susan

Podcast: Parking Lot Safety Tips, Part 2

Here’s the second part of our car safety tips podcast with Greg Reston, Director of Asset Protection at Heartland Corporate Security in MN (You can listen to the first part here.) He has great stories and tips from his experience as a security expert for several shopping centers and companies across the U.S.

If you’re running errands this weekend, first have a quick listen to his top tips on how to be safe when returning to your car after an errand:

Thanks Greg!

Have a comment or idea for a podcast? Post your feedback in the Comments section below!!

Podcast: Parking Lot Safety Tips


We spoke with Greg Reston, Director of Asset Protection at Heartland Corporate Security in MN. He has great stories and tips from his experience as a security expert for several shopping centers and companies across the U.S.

If you’re running errands this weekend, first have a quick listen to his top parking lot safety tips:

Thanks Greg! Next week, we’ll post the second part of his interview – how to be safe when returning to your car after an errand.

Have a comment or idea for a podcast? Post your feedback in the Comments section below!!

Top Ten Phone Numbers to Have…Just In Case!

Bloggers Marc and Angel have a list of the top ten phone numbers you should have in your cell phone just in case. You just never know when you might need them!

Also, this brings to mind another blog post from a while back:

Still in need of additional contact lists to have just in case? Print out these handy emergency contact lists to keep a hard copy of your contact numbers – store them near your landlines at home or at work.