What to do if your Credit Card is Stolen

Horror upon horror. You open your purse to make a purchase and your wallet has gone along with all your credit cards and cash.

Things may have changed, but having had such a card stolen quite a few years ago, here is what I did:-

1 – I immediately rang the credit card company. It is important to do this as quickly as you can to prevent someone spending vast amounts on your credit card. Sometimes you are liable for a small amount of any money that a thief may spend so it is vital that you act quickly. Also you do not want to be accused of anything illegal that the person may do with your card. Credit card companies usually have a ‘Stolen cards’ hot-line which is easy to use and operates 24 hours a day, everyday of the week.

2 – As soon as I had informed the credit card company I notified the police. Unless you do this how does your credit card company know it’s not just you cheating them?. You still could be, but to show you are not you must follow procedures.

3 – If you have credit card insurance you will need to contact them also. I use Sentinel to cover mine and they have special phone numbers, with 24/7 cover again, which is quick and easy to use.

4 – Make sure that nothing else was stolen along with your credit card, such as letters or other cards maybe that you don’t use that often. You will still need to notify these card suppliers.

5 – Consider the implications to you of possible identity theft. If a thief has your credit card he also has your signature and name If he stole anything else he may have a utility bill or even a letter with your address and other personal details. If the thief knows you personally, or stole from your home, he will obviously know your address already. All this personal information is like gold-dust to a thief.

When my credit card was stolen, all that time ago, identity theft had not been heard of. However, nowadays, that may be your prime concern. As such ask the police, or your credit company, for advice on what you can do about such issues as identity theft after such a theft. There may be some procedures which you can follow as a damage limitations exercise.