If your purse is stolen you need to ensure you will not be liable for credit card charges, forged checks or become a victim of identity theft. By handling the situation systematically and in a timely manner you can minimize the damage. Here's how.
Report your stolen purse to the police. You should file a police report in case you must provide it to any credit agencies or other financial institutions.
Cancel all debit cards. If you report a theft within two days you will lose, at most, the first $50 charged on each card. If you wait until after the second business day, but before the 60th business day, you may be subject to losses of up to $500 per card. And if you report after 60 days, you may lose all the money in your account.
Cancel all credit cards immediately to limit your liability to $50 per card. You must also write all creditors within 60 days of false charges on your billing statement to let them know your card has been stolen and that the charges are not yours. Otherwise, you may find yourself responsible for all charges.
Place a stop payment on checks and close any banking accounts that were affected by the theft. You should also have the bank contact the check verification company it uses, so that your checks are not used for fraudulent purchases.
Visit your state's driver licensing agency in order to replace your driver's license. Most agencies will issue a temporary license until you receive a permanent replacement.
Follow up by getting copies of your credit reports. Once per year, you have the right to get a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (see Resources below).
When writing to credit agencies, use certified mail with a return receipt so that you have evidence of your correspondence. Keep a list of all credit and debit cards, as well as all bank account numbers. Being organized makes it easier to handle the theft of your personal belongings.
Monitor your financial and credit information for several months after the theft. Being proactive will assure that your credit remains in good standing.