What to do if your credit card is Lost or Stolen

Losing a credit, debit or ATM card makes a person helpless.You would never wish to encounter this . But as emergencies are a part of a person's life, these unwanted incidents do happen. These are some recurrent questions that comes to your mind in such situations:


  • What is the solution to it?
  • If I have lost it, will I get it back?
  • What should be my first step?
  • Will I get back my money? What does the law say?

With the frequent usage of credit, debit and ATM cards, nowadays the rate of credit cards being lost or stolen have become higher. Guidelines for a person who is in such a trap:

  • Report the loss or theft of your credit, ATM or debit cards to the card issuers as soon as you can.
  • Use the provisions of companies having toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies.
  • It is a good policy to follow up your phone calls with a letter. Include your account number when you noticed your card was missing and the date you first reported the loss.
  • Also make sure to check your homeowner's insurance policy to see if it covers your liability for card thefts. If not, some insurance companies will allow you to change your policy to include this protection.

After the loss,

  • Review your billing statements carefully.
  • If they reflect any unauthorized charges, it's best to report to them by sending a letter to the card issuer describing each questionable charge.
  • Again, report to the card issuer the exact date and time your card was lost or stolen or when you first cited unauthorized charges and also mention the date when you first reported the problem to them.
  • Be sure to report to the address provided for billing errors.
  • Do not send it with any sort of payment or to the address where you usually send your payments unless you are directed to do so.
  • The law of the state says you will be charged only $50 for unauthorized use of your credit card provided you have reported the loss before your credit cards are used.
  • The FCBA or Fair Credit Billing Act states that the card issuer cannot hold you responsible for any unauthorized charges.

There is much to be written about this issue. You can read our special articles for members only for further details. We offer free membership to all.


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