What to Do If Your Wallet Is Lost or Stolen

Crowded malls are tempting for pickpockets. Here’s what to do if you become a victim.

Man being pick pocketed for his wallet

Contact your financial institutions. While you're waiting for the police to arrive (they may send a patrol officer in some, but not all, jurisdictions, according to Fleischmann), start calling your bank and other financial institutions to cancel your cards and order replacements. Immediately notifying your bank or card issuer minimizes your liability for unauthorized transactions. Also make sure you update any monthly subscriptions or recurring transactions like gym memberships or insurance payments with your new account information to avoid fees. Chase says this was a big headache because some balances took awhile to transfer, and card issuers sent new cards on different timelines.

[Read: 8 Tips to Navigate Black Friday Shopping.]

As for Brown, he plans to venture out on Black Friday again this year. But this time, he'll carry only one credit card and a small amount of cash. "I've got my game plan," he says. "Now I never carry more than $20 with me at a time."