5 Ways to Deal With Wallet Theft in College

by Lauren, our college blogger

As college students, we don’t have much to begin with. So what happens when you get the little bit you have stolen?

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 losing my room key, my school ID, my public transportation pass, my cash cards and gift cards.

Here is what I will be doing in case this happens again.

Protect My 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 to 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.

Know the Number for Campus Safety/Security

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.

Cancel My 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 to 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 Myself

I was on 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 going 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 keychain 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