Losing a credit card or debit card or having either one of them stolen can immediately make you feel sick. The key here is to act fast and measures will be set in place to protect you, your accounts, and your identity. Take these steps to ensure that you won’t have to pay for charges that don’t belong to you and you can get back to a regular order of business as soon as possible.
1. Let your Credit Card Company Know
The first thing to do is to contact your credit card company. Time is of the essence, so whether your card was lost, stolen, or you suppose your identity has been hacked online, let them know ASAP to make sure you aren’t responsible for covering the charges. Review monthly statements to also monitor any suspicious or fraudulent charges.
2. Wait for the New Card
After you report your issue, the credit card company will cancel your card and issue you a new one. This may take a few days and may mean you will not have access to your account.
3. File a Police Report
Head down to the nearest police station and file a report if your card was indeed stolen. This report will help cover you if you need to dispute any of the charges in the future. Make sure you leave with a couple copies of the report. You may need to submit a copy to your bank, the credit card company, and you should keep one for your own files as well.
4. Let your Bank Know
If a purse or wallet was stolen, contacting your bank is another item of business to attend to on your list. Let them know what has happened and work on your end to monitor your account for any activity you don’t recognize. Keep your eye on your account for several weeks just to be sure there is no sneaky behavior. Thieves may wait weeks before they try and gain access.
5. Reconfigure your Automatic Payments
With automatic payments, it can be easy to forget about them, but make sure you change all automatic payments associated with that credit card. In planning ahead, make a list of all of your automatic accounts so you already know which ones you will need to make an adjustment for. Make sure for any online websites you also make that change or remove your credit card number completely until your new card arrives. That way you are certain that you’re charging purchases to the correct credit card number.
6. Keep an Eye on your Credit Report
For the next several months, keep an eye on your credit report. Look to make sure that no one has opened any new accounts under your name. You can take advantage of this for free by using the three major credit agencies. If you do see any fraudulent behavior, you will need to report it as identity theft. This can take several months to complete, so do your best to remain patient and positive.