If you lost your purse, your phone or your whole handbag, what would you do? Would you be able to stop all your cards quickly?
I had my purse stolen on the London Underground a few weeks ago I was with my daughter on a Circle train. When the train stopped at South Kensington, a man and a woman sandwiched me forcefully between them so that I couldn’t move, opened my closed bag and took my purse. It was a horrible experience, made worse for me by it happening in front of my daughter.
But it could have been a lot worse. And what I was really thankful for, was, that in my filing cabinet at home, I had a complete list of all my debit and credit card numbers plus the Lost & stolen telephone number for each card provider. My daughter and I got out at the next station, phoned my husband and he read out the details on the list to me. Then, sitting on a platform on Sloane Square tube station, I phoned all the card providers,! Within 20 minutes or so, all my cards were stopped and I felt marginally better.
Once I got home, I realised that I had all kinds of other loyalty cards in my purse. Luckily, again, I was able to track all these down as I either had the card details on the original letter they came on or I was able to logon to my account on the relevant web site and find out that way
The whole incident really brought home to me how vulnerable we all are to losing our stuff and what making sure that we can recover quickly entails.
So, here are my quick tips for staying in control when you lose your important stuff!
7 Quick tips – how to stay in control when your stuff is stolen
1. List of card numbers
Keep a separate list of your card numbers, the card provider and their Lost and Stolen telephone number (home and abroad)
2 Card protection schemes
If you have a Card protection scheme like M&S Card Safe where they do all the ringing for you, then make sure it is up-to-date. (We do have this but I sent off an update form which apparently never made it onto our account and haven’t got round to checking the account again – hence my homemade version!).
3. Loyalty cards
Don’t forget about loyalty cards as well – I found that I could cancel most of mine online and order a new one (eg Costa Coffee) which was quick and painless.
4. Mobile phones
Think hard about the kind of information you have on there. Would your Internet accounts be vulnerable if your phone was stolen? Make sure you know the Lost and stolen phone number for your provider. Make a note of your IMEI number – if they have that, the provider can disable the handset. I have a list for all of us.
5.. Passport numbers/EHIC cards
Again, have a list of passport numbers, date of issue, expiry date. Our M&S Card Safe account will also hold these (if I update it, sigh…).. And, don’t forget your EHIC cards.
6, Safe-keeping of lists
If you are going on holiday, ask a relative or close friend to keep these lists for you so that you can contact them if the worst happens.
7. Do not walk around with these lists !!!!
School run beckons so must dash.
If anyone has any great ‘overcoming having your stuff stolen’ tips, please do contact us and I’ll put them in a follow-up post – attributed of course!