What to do if You’ve Lost your Credit Card

Oh no, you can’t find your credit card. Before calling the last stores you shopped in, before tearing your house and vehicle apart and before dumping your purse or wallet all over the floor take a deep breath, call the credit card company and let them know you can’t find the card. If you don’t have the company, card number and phone number written down anywhere, go find an old bill to get all the information you will need.

The card company can immediately check to see if the card has been used by anyone else. They can cancel that account and get you a new card coming. If you are on vacation or not at home and do not have a back up plan, see if they can overnight the card to your home and then have a friend overnight it to you. Take into account, of course, mailing times and the time it will take you to get home. Tell the credit card company that they can release information regarding the closed account to law enforcement many companies will not assist in a criminal investigation without your authorization.

If the card has been used, your next call should be to the local police department. Making an official police report has many benefits. A suspect may be caught and charged. Statistics are more accurate when victims make reports. Having a case report number will help you deal with the collection agencies that may get involved when charges are reversed back to the local business. Remember once a lost card has been used it is now stolen property, theft of identity and forgery if they signed your name.

You will be able to track the movements of your card if it is being used that is the only benefit to crimes involving financial information, they leave a paper trail to follow. Try and remember where you last had your card, as this may help identify a suspect. If you know of local stores that allow easy use of credit cards with no identification verification you can call them and alert them that the card has been lost/stolen.

Hopefully, you will get the account closed in time so damage is minimized. Keeping track of your accounts, credit cards especially, will help when and if the unfortunate event of losing your card ever happens. Remember not to carry all your cards in your purse or wallet. Take only the ones you will use, so if they are lost or stolen you know exactly which ones you had. Many forget about specialty credit cards, such as ones for a specific store only, because they are not used as often.

Being prepared ahead of time helps in any situation, and knowing what to do in the event your credit card is lost will help you deal with the situation in the best way possible.