What Should I Do If A Credit Card Is Lost Or Stolen
If a credit card is lost or stolen, the first step is to block it. Most credit cards, in addition to the service for blocking and issuing new cards, have the option to ”temporarily” block it. This temporary blocking option is ideal when a credit card has been lost, in case it is hiding somewhere you haven’t looked or has been slipped between other cards and, after a while, it is found. Using this method, you can freeze it and, when you find it, unblock it again without having to cancel it or having to wait for a new card to be issued and sent.
Solutions if your credit card has been lost or stolen
Banco Santander offers you various options when a credit card is lost or stolen:
- Free phone number for blocking. Operates 24 hours a day. Call 900 81 13 81.
- Via the website. You can block your credit card through the bank’s own website by entering your personal passwords. To do this you must follow these steps:
How To Report A Lost Credit Card
Your credit card issuer is the first place you should turn if you discover that one of your cards has disappeared.
Per federal regulation, your responsibility is limited to $50 if your card is lost or stolen when you provide adequate notice to your credit card issuer. Still, to keep from being held responsible for any unauthorized charges, be sure to reach out to your card issuer as soon as you notice your card has gone missing.
Things You Can Do To Prevent Future Lost Or Stolen Credit Cards
There are a lot of ways to lose a credit card. You might lose your walletand your card. You might leave your card at a checkout counter. You might slip it into your purse only to have it slip out.
Its a good idea to take steps to help prevent the loss or theft of a credit card in the future.
Here are some suggestions, along with a few tips to consider just in case you do lose a card:
- Carry only the cards you need.
- Keep your credit card securely in your wallet or purse. Dont break with routine and, say, slip your card in a breast pocket or top of your sock.
- Cut up old credit cards before you throw them away. Make sure you cut through the account number.
- Keep track of your cards and store ones you dont use in a secure place.
- Keep a record of your credit card information in a safe location. Consider including account numbers, expiration dates, and telephone numbers for each issuer. That way, youll be ready to report a lost or stolen credit card when you need to.
- Check your credit card statements as soon as they arrive. Look for charges you dont think you made.
- Guard your account number. Identity thieves don’t always need your credit card to commit identity fraud. The account number might be enough. Be careful not to write your account number down on paper or anywhere someone might find it.
- Avoid sharing your credit card number over the phone unless you made the call. And dont forget to make sure no one is eavesdropping.
Thats what friends do.
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Consider Identity Theft Protection
Even after youve canceled your checking account, credit cards and debit cards, you might still be vulnerable. Thieves can use other cards in your wallet, including your Social Security card, to steal your identity. Tip: Leave your Social Security card at home and secured in a safe place.
In addition to setting up fraud alerts, you might consider signing up for an identity theft protection program such as a LifeLock Standard membership. As a LifeLock member, you’ll receive Lost Wallet Protection. Once you notice that your wallet is missing, you can call LifeLock at 1-800-416-0599 to report it stolen and the company will help you cancel or replace credit cards, your driver’s license, Social Security card, insurance cards and other items you may have carried in your wallet.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Lost Credit Card
Many credit card companies will replace your lost credit card for free.
But depending on when you report the loss, you could also be on the hook for a small amount of any fraudulent charges made with your stolen credit card. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, youre responsible for repaying the first $50 in fraudulent credit card charges if your credit card is stolen.
But if you report the card as lost before any unauthorized charges are made, you arent responsible for any charges you didnt authorize. You also wont have to pay if just your credit card number was stolen credit card issuers can charge you for the first $50 in unauthorized charges only if your card was physically stolen.
On top of that, some credit card issuers have zero-liability policies and voluntarily waive all unauthorized charges.
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Call Your Credit Card Issuer And Deactivate Your Card
If your card is still missing – or your whole wallet – it is time to contact your issuer to deactivate the card. Depending on the issuer, you can do this online, through email, by phone, or through its mobile app. Fully deactivating the card will offer complete protection against any fraudulent activities on the card.
Fortunately, many issuers offer zero liability for all unauthorised activities made while the card is missing. However, it is essential to report the card missing as soon as possible in order to enjoy this benefit.
Look Out For Replacement Cards
When you report a card as lost or stolen, your credit card company will deactivate or cancel your current credit card number. The card number previously assigned to you will no longer be active and you will be mailed a replacement credit card with a new number. It typically takes three to seven business days to receive a replacement card in the mail.
If you are traveling and need a replacement card while away from home, many credit card providers will expedite a card to you. If you are stranded without a credit card ask your card provider if overnight delivery is a service they offer. Some card providers offer this service free of charge.
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Update All Automatic Charges
Make a list of every automatic payment assigned to the card that was lost or stolen. Make a special note of the date each payment is set to hit your card. Because it can take anywhere from a few days to a week or more to receive a replacement card, you might have to make payment arrangements with merchants set to charge your card before the new one arrives.
For the others, contact the merchants the day you receive your new card. Explain the situation, and instruct them to delete the old card number from their records and set up future payments to deduct from your new card.
Monthly automatic payments are usually easy to remember, but do not leave out any charges made only quarterly, biannually, or annually. These are the ones that frequently trip people up and cause issues with their credit reports.
How To Avoid Credit Card Theft In The First Place
Bad news: Thieves are becoming even more sophisticated in the digital agebut there are still ways to protect yourself. Beyond that, here are a few more easy precautions to take to keep your money safe. The best thing you can do is to remain vigilant: “Get in the habit of checking your statements and know where your money is going,” Rathner says.
When buying something online, Rathner recommends making sure the URL for the site begins with “https.” Sites that begin only with “http” do not have the same security features built in. Third-party services such as Paypal and Venmo offer some consumer protections, but Rathner points out those methods of payment aren’t accepted everywhere. “There’s always a risk when you use your credit card, even at a brick and mortar store, but especially online,” Rathner said. “Think about where you’re using your card and where the possibility for fraud exists.”
If you have a credit card you don’t use often, leave it at home in a secure place rather than taking it with you everywhere. When you do take your cards with you, be mindful of your purse or wallet. “Don’t leave your wallet on the table, and maybe switch it to your front instead of your back pocket,” Rathner said. “If you have a purse, don’t hang it on the back of your chairkeep it on your lap instead.” When possible, opt for a zippered purse since totes and purses with flap closures are easier to steal from.
Are You Liable If Your Card Is Lost Or Stolen
While losing a credit card is never fun, youre far better off losing that than a debit card or cash. Not only do credit card companies proactively monitor consumer accounts for signs of fraud, but none of them will hold you responsible for any unauthorized charges should they crop up. Credit card users all benefit from across-the-board $0 fraud liability guarantees.
Cash, on the other hand, youd never get back. And while debit cards do offer some fraud protection, you’ll need to sign for your transactions in order to be assured of coverage. Whats more, debit card fraud necessitates getting back money that has been removed from your bank account, the absence of which could have already caused a domino effect of damage across the rest of your personal finances .
With a credit card, you dont actually have to pay for anything out of pocket for at least 21 days from the time you receive your monthly statement. You therefore have plenty of time to notice and deal with unauthorized charges before being asked to foot the bill for them. That is why you should carefully review your credit card statements in the aftermath of losing your plastic in order to make sure no suspicious charges appear.
If signs of fraud are indeed found on your account, your credit card company will likely issue you a new card with a new number.
Other Hassles Of Lost Credit Cards
With the $50 liability limit set by federal law on missing credit cards, you may assume its OK not to report it missing. Not true. If you dont report it missing, other problems could crop up.
Thieves who steal credit cards often start using them as quickly as they can so they can buy things before the card is canceled by the bank. But if its not reported missing soon, they can keep ringing up charges that youll have to dispute with your credit card company.
If you have a good credit card company, theyll notice the fraudulent charges and alert you immediately. But if more purchases accumulate, youll spend more time trying to fix things.
A lot of fraudulent charges could also hurt your credit score temporarily. Once the fraud is found and resolved, your score should return to normal.
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Check Your Insurance Coverage
Some homeowners and renters insurance policies cover your liability for credit card theft. While the maximum you would have to pay out of pocket is $50, it may be worth checking to see if your insurance policy would cover that amount.
You might also want to consider adding coverage for lost cards to your policy, if its available.
Keep in mind that some credit card issuers offer zero liability as a card feature. In such cases, adding coverage through a homeowners policy might not be necessary.
Call The Bank That Issued Your Checkbook
Thieves can quickly drain funds from your checking account when they steal your wallet or if they steal your purse to get at your wallet and find your checkbook inside.
Youll have to take most of the same steps you did when canceling your lost or stolen debit card. Call your bank immediately and ask for a freeze on your checking account. This way, thieves wont be able to make any more purchases using your checkbook.
Your banks customer service representative will also go over recent transactions with you to see which ones you made and which ones you didnt.
To help solve the problem completely, youll have to close your account and open a new one. You will also need to change all your automated payments and direct deposits. Finally, youll need to confirm all the payments you made with paper checks have cleared.
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Wait For Your Card To Be Mailed
When you call to report a loss, the issuer will issue a new card with a new account number. Receiving a replacement card can take as long as one week but standard mail delivery times can vary.
For example, Wells Fargo and Capital One cards can take up to six or seven days to arrive via standard delivery. American Express says on its website that you can expect a new card within a few days or even the next day, depending on the shipping method. A replacement Chase card will arrive within three to five business days, according to the issuers website.
Tip: What does it cost to replace a lost or stolen credit card? Usually nothing, and getting a new one usually is fairly simple. However, bank policies differ and you might have to pay, especially if you want your replacement card in a hurry.
Put A Plan In Place To Avoid Losing Your Card Again
One thing you can do to prevent future lost cards is to avoid carrying too many of them with you in the first place. I have a bunch of cards, but I only carry two in my wallet, Dvorkin says. The cards youre not using, lock them up somewhere.
One way to avoid carrying some or all of your cards with you is to use an online wallet, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. Some issuers, such as Discover, allow you to freeze and unfreeze your card as needed. It may be a good idea to freeze your card in the app until you are ready to make a purchase, says Tayne. That way, if your card is lost or stolen, it cannot be used.
You should have a list of all your card names and financial institutions, account numbers and the customer service phone numbers. Keep a copy of the list at home in a safe place.
Taylor recommends you also carry your emergency credit card cancellation numbers with you at all times, in a separate place from your credit card. If a purse that contains your credit card is stolen, having your emergency contact number for the card also in that purse is going to do nobody any good, Tayne says.
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What To Do If You Can’t Find Your Credit Card
Losing a credit card happens to the best of us. But if you act fast and contact your card issuer as soon as possible, you won’t have to pay for any charges made without your authorization and can get a replacement card quickly. Legally, you cannot be held responsible for any charges made after your card is reported missing.
Here’s what you can do:
Atm/debit Card Prepaid Card And Account Alerts
You can choose to be notified when:
- Your balance is above or below an amount you choose
- A withdrawal, deposit, or check posts to your account
- A foreign purchase or foreign ATM withdrawal with the card exceeds an amount you choose
- An online, phone, or mail purchase with the card exceeds an amount you choose
For personal credit cards, you can also activate your card online.
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Dont Carry All Your Cards
If you have several credit cards, not all of your cards need to be in your wallet. Prioritize the cards you choose to carry and leave the rest at home. If your wallet is lost, it is nice to have a card on hand to use while you wait for your replacement cards to arrive in the mail. While traveling, tuck an extra card in a separate, secure location, so you still have a payment method available.
Take advantage of mobile payment methods. Upload a unique credit card to your ApplePay, SamsungPay or another mobile wallet app. Leave the corresponding card at home so that even if your wallet is lost, this card will remain active.
Also, clean out your wallet every month or two to ensure you are only carrying the cards you need to have on you.