Every year, many consumers will report a lost or stolen credit card. The sooner you make the report, the less chance there is that you will be held liable for transactions you did not make. Here’s what to do when your cards are stolen, and why you should report them stolen immediately.
What to do when your credit card is stolen
First, call your credit card company as soon as you are certain that your card has been lost or stolen. Most credit card companies have toll free numbers with live call center representatives for you to speak with. Cancel the card and be sure to get the person’s name that you speak to and write it down.
Second, always send an email or letter as a follow up to your call to the credit card company and keep a copy for yourself as proof that you requested a cancellation on a certain date.
Third, monitor your statements very closely and note any transactions that you did not make. Report the questionable transactions to your credit card company immediately, and send a letter to the billing errors address for your credit card company. Again, keep a copy for yourself.
Fourth, if you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, check to see if your policy will cover any charges for which you are found to be liable.
What can happen if you don’t report your card stolen?
As soon as your lost or stolen credit card is reported, from that moment forward you cannot be held responsible for any transactions that are not authorized. Failure to report it stolen means that you are on the hook for the charges until you report it. If you report the card stolen two days later, you will be held responsible for $50.00; more than two days but less than 60 calendar days, $500.00; more than 60 days after your statement is sent to you, according to federal law, you are responsible for all charges.
Learn to protect your credit cards, and when you suspect that one or more cards have been lost or stolen, or if you notice any unusual spending behaviour, report it immediately to protect your finances.