What To Do When Your Credit Card Is Lost Or
wallets and purses do get stolen or lost on a regular basis. Your biggest
concern is usually the fact that your credit cards are missing. If this happens
to you, do you have a plan of action? Well, you should. It really isn't as
daunting to come up with a credit card action plan as it seems like it should
be. All reputable credit card companies have a set policy that helps to protect
you against loss or theft. All you need to know is how to get this policy
to work for you.
Help! My Credit Card Was Stolen!
Never fear, help is here! The first thing you need to do is report the stolen
card to the company as soon as possible. Most companies have a toll-free
number or an online service that deals solely with this problem.
Fortunately for you, federal law dictates that you are only liable for the
first $50.00 of any fraudulent charges made on a charge card. Still, you
are required to report the lost or stolen card even though you're not going
to take a huge hit. Here's a little extra incentive to make the call fast:
If you report the loss or theft before any unauthorized use, you don't even
pay the $50.00.
Many card issuers are waiving the $50 exposure, so check the details on your
credit card offer.
After the card is gone, make sure you pay attention to every charge on the
bill. Whatever shows up that isn't yours, notify the card company in writing
immediately. Make sure to include in the letter the date in which you notified
the company that your card was lost or stolen and send it to the billing
errors address. Do not send the letter with your payment. It will get lost
in the shuffle.
If your card was a debit card, things may work a bit different. The amount
of liability you are responsible for depends directly on how quickly you
report it lost or stolen. If it is done before it has been used, again you
are not responsible for any fraudulent charges. If you wait, even as little
as two business days, you could be held liable for up to $500.00 of any
fraudulent charges found on the card.
Once your card is gone and you have reported it, review your bills. Make
your bank aware of any questionable deductions from your account that occurred
during the time your card was lost or stolen. A phone call is great, but
follow it up with a certified letter and include the day you reported your
card stolen or lost. This should absolve you of any liability.
The best way to avoid stolen or lost cards is to keep track of them. Know
where they are at all times and keep your pin number a secret. Also, don't
use a pin number that is easy to figure out such as your birth date or phone
number. Make it a number that only makes sense to you and keep it that way.