If your credit card is lost or stolen, it can be a stressful time. You hope it never happens, but here’s what you need to do if it happens to you.
While never fun, you can rest easy that a lost or stolen card isn’t going to financially ruin you. Federal law says that you can’t be personally liable for fraudulent purchases of more than $50, and most credit card companies have some level of protection that will keep you from owing anything at all. So don’t worry! Just act fast.
Make Sure Your Card is Actually Missing
Before taking action, you need to be 100% sure that your card wasn’t misplaced in your home or is with one of the authorized users on the account. Be sure to thoroughly search your car and home. Call anyone who might have the card and make sure they didn’t take it.
Call Your Credit Card Company Immediately
The moment you realize your card has been lost or stolen, alert your credit card company. Time is of the essence, and in order to minimize your liability for fraudulent purchases, you need to report the issue immediately. The company will likely cancel the card and supply you with a new one.
Call the Police
If your card was simply lost and no fraudulent purchases were made, then the issue will be resolved after you communicate with your credit card company.
However, if it’s obvious that your card was stolen, especially if it was taken from your purse, wallet, car, or home, you’ll need to call the police and report the theft. The police will take usually take down all your information and assign your case to an investigator.
If fraudulent purchases were made on the card, call your credit card company and find out the exact date, time, and location of the purchases. The investigator will need as much information as you can provide. Unfortunately for card thieves, almost every ATM and cash register has a security camera, meaning they can be easily found and identified.