Lost Credit Cards What to Do – If you’ve lost your credit cards and you’re not sure what to do, it’s imperative that you take action immediately! There’s no worse feeling in the world than losing your wallet and/or credit cards but by no means should you let this feeling overwhelm you to the point that you don’t act. The longer you wait to take action, the more difficult it can be to get your money back.
Lost Credit Cards What to Do
Let’s go over the steps of what you must do if your credit card gets stolen and then we’ll review how to protect yourself from identity theft in the future.
If your credit card is stolen…
1) Gather your information.
– When did your card go missing? What happened? Are there fraudulent charges? Make sure that you’re as clear on everything as you can be.
– Have your account information/number ready.
– Confirm when your last valid purchase was.
2) Contact your card issuer.
– Every card issuer has a specific phone number for reports of lost/stolen credit cards. If you’re not sure which extension to dial call customer service or explain to whoever you can get a hold of about what’s happened. They’ll be able to connect you to the right source and you can report your card lost/stolen.
3) Follow up with a letter.
– Make sure you also send your card issuer a letter after you hang up the phone, reiterating that your card is lost/stolen and that you called (provide the date) and made a report. Include as many details as you can.
4) Deal with fraudulent charges.
– Federal law protects you from paying all charges made to your card after you report it missing and most of the charges made that you claim were fraudulent. Your card issuer is allowed to dispute up to $50 of the charges, so if there’s a problem you’re entitled to contact the Credit Bureau about your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act.
5) Prevent future theft.
– It’s important that you protect yourself from further theft in the future. Figure out how your card information was taken from you and consider changing your passwords, and boosting up security in whatever ways possible.
I originally wrote these steps in an article on The Random Forest.
Most Common Identity Theft Schemes:
– Going through your trash : If you don’t shred your mail and personal information, it becomes available for thieves to piece together who you are and where your credit card and bank information is.
– Stealing your mail : Even though it’s a federal offense, that won’t stop some of the scum bags out there who will steal mail at any given opportunity. Consider switching to online banking and set up as many passwords and protection methods as possible.
– Skimming : Identity theft criminals carry devices that read the magnetic strip on the back of your credit cards. There are protective cases available that can prevent skimming, but also make a point of only carrying cards when you need them and checking your credit card statements regularly.
– Phishing : Phishing is the broad term used for computer identity theft. Phishing can be performed by the perpetrators through email, social networks, text messages and mediums.
How to protect yourself from identity theft schemes:
– Minimize how much personal information about you and your accounts is available : Do as much as you can online and try not to leave any paper trails. Try to minimize how many cards you carry or even have, it’ll be easier to keep track of your money.
– Shred everything: Make sure it’s near impossible for anyone to read anything about you or your money
– Trust no-one : No one should ever ask for your credit card information. Ever. Except if you are purchasing something safely online, like a plane ticket.
– Check your accounts regularly: The easiest way to catch identity theft and get all of your money back is to recognize it early on. Make a habit of checking your accounts several times a week to make sure that all of the purchases are your own.
Keep yourself safe by being cautious! There are a lot of bad people out there looking to steal from anyone they can.
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Lost Credit Cards What to Do