What To Do When Your Credit Card Is Stolen

It might be frustrating to have your credit card or debit card lost stolen. Maybe you misplaced your wallet or your pocketbook was grabbed. Or you may be in a position where your information is taken online via a compromised database.

Either circumstance has the potential to provide the thief access to all of your personal account information. That's why you need to act as soon as you detect there is anything incorrect with your account. Here's what to do if your credit card is lost or stolen.

Contact Your Credit Card Company

The first step is to call your credit card provider as soon as you detect that your credit card is gone. If you report your credit card missing before it's used, you will not be liable for any illegal transactions. If the card is used before you can report it missing, your maximum responsibility will be $50.1

You may have a broader window if you notice that you have an inaccurate or fraudulent transaction on your account as most consumers will not find the charge until reading their monthly bills. Pro tip: Do this every month to protect yourself against fraudulent or improper charges.

Wait for Your New Credit Card

Once you report the loss, the credit card provider will revoke your existing card and send you a new one. They may notify you if they fear that your information has been compromised, and issue you a replacement card as a precaution.

This implies that you will have a few days when you do not have access to your credit card account, therefore it's crucial that you have alternative cards you can use (like a debit card) and an emergency money. You may also need to evaluate the charges that come through in the following several days, so they can decide which charges are valid and which ones are not.

File a Police Report 

You should also submit a police complaint if your credit card was taken. You will need this report to protect yourself if you have to dispute charges with your credit card company or other suppliers.2

If your identity is stolen as a consequence of this crime, you will have a report going back to the time you first had the theft. This is why the police report is crucial. Be careful to retain many copies of the report. If you had numerous cards taken, you may utilize the same police complaint. Keep in mind that you will also need to submit a copy to your bank. However, it's crucial to maintain a duplicate or two on file for your records.

Contact Your Bank

You may also need to call your bank if your checkbook or debit cards were either stolen or misplaced. You will follow roughly the same method if your checkbook were taken.

Be careful to continue to check all of your accounts to make sure that you do not have any unauthorized activity on the account. You should keep a watch on it for many weeks, since fraudsters may wait to access your account.

Change Your Automatic Payments

Another vital step is to alter all of the automated payments that you have associated to that credit card. This may include automated debits for bills or other payments, PayPal or Venmo accounts, even your rent or mortgage.

Updating your card details can prevent you from falling behind on payments and getting penalized with late penalties. It might take time to update your payment information on all your numerous accounts, but it's a vital step in the process.

You may wish to prepare a list of invoices that are automatically deducted, and the accounts you use that card to pay with, so you can make the adjustments easily. Do not include your account numbers on this list, simply mark them with the bank name or card details.

Monitor Your Credit Report

If you have your credit card number or bank information taken, you will need to check your credit over the following few months.

Check Your Credit Report

You should verify your credit record to confirm that no one has created accounts under your name. Here's how: You may do this for free every year with the three main credit agencies.3

If you rotate between the agencies, you may check at one every four months, making it easy to keep an eye on your credit. If you locate an unauthorized account, you will need to report it as identity theft and contact the bank that established the account. You may need to check your credit report for many months or even years, but remember, it's vital if your credit card was lost or stolen.

Credit Freeze

You may also tell the credit reporting agencies that you want a credit freeze—sometimes called a security freeze. The freeze, which is free, stops any new accounts from being started and might be beneficial if you feel your identity has been stolen.

However, the credit freeze may also be used as a fraud protection measure to guarantee that no one establishes accounts in your name. When you wish to apply for credit, such as a loan or credit card, you may turn off the freeze temporarily until the new account or loan has been created. A credit freeze may be switched on or off at any moment and can offer you with an extra degree of protection and peace of mind.