Every day, hundreds of tourists and travelers forget luggage, cell phones, and wallets in taxi cabs. Chances are likely that you, too, may forget something important in the back seat.

If you’ve forgotten your purse or bag in a taxi, your first instinct might be to panic. You might worry that your valuables are gone for good, or that someone will claim your items as their own.

But before you have a nervous breakdown, take a deep breath and follow these steps.

1.Collect the Information You Have About the Cab

The more information you have about the cab, the better your chances of recovering your lost possessions. If you took note of the cab driver’s name, cab number, vehicle make and model, and/or color of the cab are all useful pieces of information to have.

2.Protect Your Security

You have no guarantee that you’ll recover an object lost in a cab. If you lost sensitive items, take precautions to protect your identity, privacy, and security. If you left your passport, state ID or driver’s license, or social security card, report the losses immediately. Cancel any credit or debit cards. You should also take steps to locate your phone and remove personal data if needed.

3.Fill Out a Lost and Found Form

Most cab companies provide a lost and found form specifically to report losses like yours. If you aren’t sure which cab company you used, look at your receipt or bank statement. Once you know the company name, visit its website and fill out the form with as much information as possible.
If you need an example of information required for these forms, visit our lost and found eform (http://www.yellowcabaz.com/lost-found/).

4.Call the Local Information Authority

If you’re in a populous urban area, the local information authority may have a system in place to track cabs and, by extension, missing items in them. New York and other bustling cities use this GPS-based system to recover lost valuables, including heirlooms, electronics, and wallets.

To contact the local information authority, dial 311 or visit the city’s public website. If you lost an item in Arizona, visit the Phoenix city site (https://www.phoenix.gov/), the Tucson city site (http://www.tucsonaz.gov/), the Tempe city site (http://www.tempe.gov/), or your current city site. Do not call 911-for law enforcement purposes, items lost in taxis do not qualify as emergencies.

Take These Precautions to Prevent Future Loss

Whether or not you successfully recover your lost item now, you can save yourself from future stress. Take the following precautions to ensure you never leave your keys, purse, or suitcase in a cab again.

  • Always ask for a receipt. Receipts provide essential information in lost and found cases. This information includes hack number, cab number, and driver number.
  • Check for dropped items before exiting a cab. Awareness represents the best way to prevent loss. Before you exit a cab, run your hands over the seat surface, check your pockets, and survey the foot well. Whenever possible, bring all your possessions into the backseat instead of putting them in the trunk-when your belongings are out of sight, they’re easier to forget.
  • Ride with a friend if intoxicated. Taxis provide a safe way to travel after an evening of clubbing or bar hopping. But when you aren’t up to driving, you’re more likely to drop things and forget to do the checks listed above. Whenever possible, share a ride with a friend.
  • Record cab driver information. Cab drivers display their official driver card in their cabs. If you don’t take note of any other information, at least remember the driver’s name. If you’re travelling alone, text the name to a friend or family member so someone knows where you are and who you’re with.
  • Tag your luggage with your information. If you’re in a rush or impaired state, you may forget some of the other tips in this list. To further protect your belongings, tag all your suitcases or bags. Include a phone number on the tag where the cab driver could reach you.

Losing something in a cab may put a damper on your day, but it doesn’t have to destroy it. Take measures to prevent loss. And, if it happens anyway, use the four steps listed above to recover your lost possessions.