Having your credit card stolen is inconvenient. But not only that, it can also result in you being the victim of identity theft and credit card fraud. Of course, you should make sure the credit cards in your purse or wallet are well protected in case they ever do fall into the wrong hands, but what do you do if the worst does happen and your plastic is stolen?
Here are the steps you should take immediately after you discover your credit card has been stolen or is missing:
Contact your credit card issuer
It is a good idea to keep a copy of your credit card’s emergency phone number with you at all times, making sure that you keep it separate from the card. Having this number handy allows you to ring up your card issuer to inform them that your card is missing the moment you realize it, from wherever you are in the world. Card issuers have procedures in place to deal with credit card theft and loss, so your call will be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Your card will be cancelled immediately, so as to prevent unauthorized use.
Report the theft to the police
If you know that your credit card has been stolen, you should also inform the police as well as your card issuer. This can be time-consuming but it will make it easier to get your card issuer to give you a refund for any unauthorized purchases and payments made on the card later on.
Know the procedures
If your card goes missing whilst you are abroad, make sure you know the procedures that are in place for travelers who are stranded without the means to pay for things. Do this before you go, and always have a back-up plan (i.e. emergency cash) in place in case you lose your credit card or find that it has been stolen.
Consider getting a card protection plan
This is something that is often offered when you apply for a credit card, and it is designed to protect you should your card be stolen or lost. Advantages of such a plan include the option to cancel all cards and order replacements with just one phone call and access to emergency cash advances, as well as benefits for travelers such as replacement travel tickets and emergency hotel bill payment.