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Lost or Stolen Credit Card? What To Do
 Mar 25, 2009

Have you ever lost a credit card, or had a credit card stolen?  Did you know what to do? You should do everything you can to protect your credit and not fall victim to fraud.  Read this article so if you ever have a lost or stolen credit card you will know exactly what to do.

It is possible at some point that your credit card will be lost or stolen. This is always something scary, since you may not know whether or not someone is going to fraudulently use your credit card. In order to minimize problems and limit damage, it is a good idea to address the problem immediately.

Step 1: Call your card issuer immediately

Whether your credit card is lost or stolen, you should call your credit card issuer as soon as you find out. You should keep the credit card customer service number separate from the card so that you can call immediately. You should also have your account number in a safe place, separate from the card itself. You should let the card issuer know as soon as you do. This way, it is possible to hold charges and even close the account.

Step 2: Close your credit card account

If your credit card is lost or stolen, you should close the account. Make sure that your credit report (you can add a note yourself) reflects that the reason the account was closed was due to loss or theft. Most credit card issuers will immediately issue you a new credit card account, and a new card, transferring any balance and terms that you have from your old account.

Getting the authorities involved

You should get the authorities involved if your card has been stolen. After notifying your credit card company, you should call the police. Make sure that they fill out a police report so that you have evidence that you were working to avoid fraudulent charges. Take a copy of the police report home with you. If your identity has been stolen as well, you can visit the Web site of the Federal Trade Commission to make a report on the problem.

If your credit card has been lost, and you notice fraudulent charges later especially if the account should have been closed make sure you contact law enforcement authorities. You should understand that such thieves are not often caught. But it can help your case when you are disputing fraudulent charges that might be made later on.

Protecting yourself from credit card fraud

There are some steps that you should follow in order to help protect yourself from credit card fraud. There is no way to be completely safe from the unscrupulous, but it is possible to limit the damage that is done. Here are some things to do in order to reduce the chances that you will be a victim of identity theft:

  • Shred documents with personal information on them.
  • Do not give your full credit card number out over the phone, especially if someone else calls you and asks for it.
  • Only carry one or two credit cards at a time. Keep the rest in a safe place.
  • Do not give out personal payment information or credit card account numbers in an email or an online chat.
  • When making online purchases, make sure that you have proper Internet security measures in place.
  • Monitor your credit card statement and your credit report for fraudulent charges, accounts and accuracy. Fix errors and notify the credit bureaus and your card issuer of problems.

Taking care of your financial information is important. Make sure you guard your credit cards as carefully as you can, and make sure that you notify the proper authorities if your credit card is lost or stolen.

Related Article: Identity Theft Protection >>

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Here" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on issuers website.