Steps to take if your Credit Card is Lost or Stolen

Did you know that today, one can buy a credit card reader that’s about the size of a matchbook and can read the card’s built in microchip, containing all your card’s information? Did you know that the criminal does not have to physically take your card in order to use it? All the person has to do is walk next to you and he’s gone with your card’s information. This is not science fiction and has been reported by Foxnews.

According to recent crime statistics, Identify Theft and Credit Card Fraud are two of the fastest growing crimes in the world. Many people fall victim to this crime and fail to take some measures to stop the criminal from continuing to empty out their bank accounts.
There are many ways to safeguard your accounts and if one uses these preventative measures, that person would be much better off.

If for some reasons you suspect that your credit card has been stolen or had unauthorized use, here are some tips to prevent a bad situation from getting completely out of hand.

1) Immediately upon your discovery and personal investigation that your card was actually stolen, call your credit card company and report the theft and to cancel that card. This will prevent any one from accessing your account by using the card. Time is of the essence and the perpetrator knows that.

2) When you talk with the company, be sure you write down the representative’s name. Then follow up the phone conversation with a letter, which includes your name, account number, when you noticed that your card was missing, the date you first reported the loss, and the name of the person you spoke with. Alternatively you can go to online where you can find forms to fill out & send to your back if your card is stolen. Also, it’s a good thing to make copies of all your correspondence.

3) Ask your credit card company for a new card with a new account numbers.

4) Next, call the three national credit-reporting agencies to report the theft, and ask them to attach a “fraud alert” to your stolen credit card. Below are the three agencies and their numbers:

Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

Experian: 1-888-397-3742

5) Next, call the police in the city where your credit card was stolen and report the theft. Make sure you mention in your police statement all the steps you have taken prior to contacting the police. They will need that information for their report. Ask them for a copy of the report for your own records.

6) If you are a member of Life Lock or a similar organization that protects identity theft, let them know of your situation and that you authorized the bank not only to cancel the stolen card but also to issue you a brand new one.

7) Check all future bank statements for unauthorized and suspicious activity and report it to your bank or credit card company.

We hope that no one ever steals your credit cards to you but if it does happen, you know what necessary steps to take.