Stolen Credit Card – What to Do Next

Stolen Credit CardIt’s no secret that most women like to shop. And shopping with a credit card is easier than shopping with cash so it’s not surprising that many women can’t live without a credit card. Of course shopping isn’t the only reason a credit card makes things easier. It’s easier to reserve hotel rooms, rental cars, book plane tickets, etc. But what happens when your card is stolen? You probably find yourself wondering what made you like that little piece of plastic so much in the first place.

In all honesty, there isn’t a lot for you to fear though. Thankfully because of Federal law, credit card companies can’t make a cardholder pay more than $50 in charges made to a card fraudulently. And sometimes, companies don’t make you pay anything if your card is stolen! It’s really important that you deal promptly with a stolen credit card in order to protect your credit. Here are five tips for you to follow if one of your cards is stolen.

1.  Call the credit card company as soon as possible. Once you discover that a card has been stolen pick up the phone and call the company even if it’s 2am. Most companies have a 24-hour hotline giving you the opportunity to report it stolen at any time of day or night. The number can be found on your monthly statement. The reason you want to act quickly and report the card stolen is because this will help prevent you from being held liable for any charges that were fraudulently made.

2. Write a follow up letter to the credit card company. Putting it in writing will help if there’s ever any questions about your claim of the card being stolen. There are a few things you need to put in the letter: date of when your card was stolen, date your card was stolen, when you reported it stolen, your account number, name of person you told about the theft at the company and the last transaction you authorized. Make sure you also keep a copy of this letter for your records. It’s also a good idea to send the letter via certified mail to the credit card company.

3. Contact the local authorities (police). Just simply let them know that you’ve already contacted the credit card company and give them the details of who you talked to about it. They will ask you a few questions to find out the last place and last time you saw the card.

4. Watch your credit card statement. It’s important that you keep an eye on these so that if you do see a charge come across the statement that you didn’t authorize you can dispute it immediately. This will take some time for the credit issuer to remove them, don’t expect it to happen immediately.

5. Pull Your Credit Report. Just because your credit card has been stolen does not mean that you will find yourself dealing with other identity theft but it’s important that you periodically check your credit report. Once a year you are allowed to pull a free credit report from the three different credit reporting agencies.

While a stolen credit card can be a scary experience as long as you act promptly, there probably won’t be anything you have to worry about. Meaning, more than likely you won’t have any charges to pay that were made fraudulently. In no time at all you can usually get a new card and move on.

Andrea is the Chief Chick of Smart Money Chicks. After filing BK twice (once because she panicked, second time because the pro messed the first time up), she realized that it all could have been avoided if she understood more about how her Finances worked and the options available. At that point, she wanted to help as many as she could never make the same mistakes again. Our Promise is that all the content you read on here is created or edited by Andrea

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