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Wallet stolen? Here's how you can get back on your feet

By Abhishek Agarwal
Last updated on: January 06, 2015 12:18 IST
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Going through these steps are by no stretch of imagination fun things to do, but if you do indeed lose your wallet, these steps may come in handy and reduce your stress.

Imagine this: You go down to your local grocery store to pick up a packet of milk on your way back home from work, and when you dip your hand into your handbag you find your wallet missing! The pesky gent who was constantly nudging you in the first class ladies compartment could well be the culprit. He is, however, the last thing on your mind, as you are breaking out in cold sweat because you have lost all your credit cards, debit cards as well as your PAN card!

Panic is a natural emotion at times like this, but the good news is you can go about cancelling your all your cards and retrieving them in a short time frame. The money in the wallet however is gone for good!

If you find your wallet missing, first things first: don't panic as it's not the end of the world! You may have lost the money, but you can still still straighten it out. Read on to find out the process of checking, cancelling and replacing the contents of your wallet, step by step.

Cancel all your cards pronto:

Whether your card issuer is a PSU bank or a private sector bank, it matters little, because you have to cancel all your cards at once as soon as you can. Calm down and make a list of the banks whose cards you hold. If you do not have their customer service numbers handy, go to their websites and find out the numbers.

  • Once you are sure you have all the cards jotted down, it's time to start making the calls.
  • When you call them, mention the following things clearly:
  • Your wallet was stolen and your card was in it.
  • The date and approximate time of the theft.
  • Check with the customer care if any transactions appear on your card after the theft.
  • Instruct them to cancel your card immediately and apply for a replacement.

Wallet protection plans may come in handy

The above procedure we mentioned is the first thing you need to do if your wallet has been stolen, but needless to say this is a time-consuming procedure that will take up at least half of a working day if you have four or five cards.

In the day and age that we live in today, time is the most precious and you obviously would not like to spend it calling up your card issuers!

A solution to this problem has been brought forth by service providers such as One Assist and CPP India which provide comprehensive service when you lose your card.

In order to avail of such services you need to be registered with them and pay them an annual subscription fee that may be between Rs 1500-2000 per annum.

In the event of card loss or theft, all you need to do is make one call to these service providers and they do the blocking of your cards on your behalf to prevent misuse.

In case you are travelling and you find yourself in such a situation, they could even help you in settling your hotel bills and arranging a return ticket back home.

You would not have to worry about the replacement of your PAN card and driving license either as they go through the documentation required to replace the same for you free of cost. While it is good to be optimistic and wish that your wallet will never get stolen, it is a good idea to sign up for such wallet protection plans. For a small sum of money you will be required to pay annually, you can be saved a lot of hassle if you happen to lose your wallet.

List out all your subscription services

These days, if you are an active netizen, chances are that you use your credit cards for a host of online services. It's a good practice to maintain an excel sheet of all your online subscriptions generally, and in the event of the loss of your credit cards this list will seem like a boon!

You still have to take the trouble of notifying these service providers though and may lose out on a subscription or two till you update the information about your new card.

Put in a request for your CIBIL report

Even after you have cancelled all your active credit cards, it may be a good idea to pull out your CIBIL report post 30 days of the theft. Once you receive this report comb through it carefully to see if there are any suspicious transactions post or any enquiries for loans or credit cards that you have not applied for post the theft.

If you find anything at all that seems like a fraudulent transaction notify both the concerned card issuer or lender and CIBIL immediately.

Photograph: cell105/Wikimedia Commons

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Abhishek Agarwal