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What can I do if my credit card is lost or stolen

Bankcard fraud is one of the most problematic crimes to prosecute. Every year, about 11.1 million people in North America fall victim to credit fraud. The USA is among one of the highest of persons experiencing credit card fraud. Average amount of bankcard fraud is $399. Total amount of card fraud worldwide is $5.55 billion.

There are many different ways that criminals can snatch your card or to get access to its number and other confidential information in order to use it for fraudulent purchases. Unfortunately, such unexpected situation (when the credit card is stolen or lost) can happen to anyone. Usually, cardholder may only become aware of this problem if he/she gets a call from bank's fraud department, or receives statements with incomprehensible purchases.

What to do if your credit card is lost or stolen

Here are tips to follow if your credit card has been lost or stolen:
- Report the card issuer immediately. If the card is lost/stolen, you have some options to address this problem. First, cardholder is protected under the law as long as he/she reports the issuer as soon as he/she discovers a problem. Client's liability is limited to $50.0 if his/her card is stolen. There is no liability if only his/her bankcard number is stolen. Clients may be liable for all lawless charges if they don't report a theft on time. You should request the issuer to suspend the card and to halt any further transactions. Your bank will give the law enforcement authorities all relevant information. After that, they should issue a new card immediately.
- Trace your card use. Try to remember when the last time you used the card was. Was it in person or was it online? Did you look carefully at receipt you signed? It'll be helpful when reporting to the credit card company.
- Cancel all automatic payments.
- Make sure you have backup credit card.

Unluckily, thieves became very creative in the case of stealing bankcard information. In fact, cardholders don't have to lose their wallets to become victims of bankcard theft.

The most common ways to steal personal card information:
- Credit card skimming - it's very difficult to prevent - thief steals your personal information when you run card through a small device - skimmer. It can happen when you pay at restaurant, for example.
- RFID Skimming - is a new form of bankcard theft - thief uses radio frequency readers to steal card information. Malefactor can do this even if your card remains in your wallet.
- Card information can be stolen online. Use bankcard on trusted websites, and don't store your card information online.

2015.07.15 Olivia D.
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