Imagine you leave work and take a cab home. On your way, you stop to pick up some groceries. As you reach into your bag at the checkout counter, you realise your wallet’s missing.

You probably begin to get anxious. Did you leave it in the cab? Or did you drop it somewhere in the store? Or did someone steal it? As multiple thoughts cross your head, your panic rises a notch when you remember all that your wallet contained. Money, credit and debit cards, driving license, Permanent Account Number (PAN) card, maybe a spare key, and more!

While that was just a hypothetical example, even with all our precautions, we may sometimes lose our wallets or it may get stolen. And in such situations, being armed with the knowledge of what to do next, could help control the damage. So, here’s a checklist of all the things you can do in the unfortunate event of losing a wallet.

1. Retrace your steps

While the natural thing to do would be panic, and then panic more, it’d be better to first backtrack. Mentally go through all the places you’d been to before, and as far as possible, retrace your steps physically. In the eventuality that you may have dropped your wallet somewhere, there’s a chance you could still recover it.

PS: Check if you aren’t being pranked by someone you know, LOL.

2. Make a list

List down all that your wallet contained. This is to make the following steps easier. While your money may be gone, further damage could still be contained.

3. Reach out to the police

If you lose your wallet, it would help to report it to the police. File an FIR (First Information Report) about the loss at the nearest police station. You’ll be handed a certificate which you can use to apply for the important documents which you’ve lost. Don’t forget to make copies of this certificate.

4. Block credit and debit cards

The next step is to call your bank, using the local phone-banking number. Another way is to log in to the Netbanking service and hotlist your card. This is to prevent any misuse of your cards. In case your wallet was stolen and your cards were misused, an FIR would ensure you’re not liable for it. It always helps to keep your card details on your phone, email or desktop, in case you can’t remember them.

5. Rebuild your wallet

1. Credit and debit card

Get in touch with your bank to re-apply for lost cards. The bank will hand you a form and may ask for proof to confirm you are the account holder along with a copy of the FIR. Old bank statements or a Bank passbook could work as proof.

2. PAN card

You can apply for a duplicate PAN card online or offline, provided you know the number of the original. If you don’t have it memorised or noted somewhere, you could visit the Know Your PAN section on the Income Tax India website. Fill in the ‘request for new PAN card or/and changes or correction in PAN’ form to re-apply.

3. Driving license

Visit your local Regional Transport Office to apply for a duplicate driving license. You will need an affidavit, forms and supporting documents.

Following these steps may not be fun, but they would be handy in reducing stress in the event you lose your wallet.

Did you ever lose your wallet? How did you deal with it? Please share with us in the comments below!

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