Are you feeling the burn of a lost or stolen credit card? Don’t settle into panic mode just yet! There are a few key steps that you can take to help ensure that you recover from a lost or stolen card and protect your bank account, credit, and identity. Here’s what you need to do.
You’ve probably already peeked in all the usual places, but go ahead and do another once-over in all the places where your card might be. If it’s not in your wallet, it could have fallen out into your purse, or possibly slipped between the seats of your car. Do a quick once-over of the usual places just to be safe.
Also, if you suspect that your card may have been the victim of a larger data breach with a company, those companies typically list a webpage online where you can verify whether or not your card has been affected by said data breach.
Call Your Credit Card Company, ASAP
If you’ve confirmed a lost or compromised card, the next step is to contact your credit card company or your bank immediately. They should have an emergency line available at all times. Most companies also offer an online option for freezing your current card and then requesting a replacement. This is your new goal. You want your credit card that’s lost or stolen to be made null and void, and for the company to issue you a new card to be shipped to you in a few days. They will immediately deactivate your old card, saving you the risk of theft. This is also the time to discuss fraudulent purchases and how they can help you recover what you’ve lost.
Credit Report Check
Unfortunately, fraudulent purchases and requesting new cards can have a potential impact on your credit score. It’s important to put a fraud alert on your credit report if this applied to you, and to request a credit check around the time of the incident. This will help you to clarify that any bad credit isn’t because of poor spending on your part, and it’ll give you an idea of where your credit has landed as a result of these purchases.
Next Level: Contact the Federal Trade Commission
If the fraudulent purchases and negative credit impact are that strong, then it may be necessary to also file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission. This isn’t necessary in all cases of a lost or stolen credit card, but it can be very helpful for individuals who’ve experienced more severe fraudulent spending on their accounts to combat related financial and credit issues.
Overall, the answer to following up such a tricky situation is to make the necessary changes and then do your best to monitor your credit and debit card spending carefully moving forward. Card theft or data theft is only becoming more and more common. Avoiding situations where your card information gets stored in a database is one example of several ways to help strategize prevention and keep your card information safer in the long run.