Nothing quite induces panic quicker than misplacing your wallet or credit card. Immediately, you launch into a necessary to-do list to protect your identity, minimize fraudulent charges and replace missing items.
Thankfully, losing a credit card is often more inconvenient than precarious, but it is still crucial to take these necessary steps.
At a Glance
- Retrace your steps—Go back to where you last used the card or accessed your wallet.
- Deactivate Your Card—Once you know that the card is missing, reach out to your credit card provider immediately to lock or deactivate your card.
- Request a Replacement—A new card will be sent to your billing address.
- Update Automatic Bill Pay—Update your credit card information for any auto payments you have set to bill to that card.
Retrace your Steps
In a moment of stress it can be easy to miss the obvious first step: Take a moment to go back to where you last used the card to determine if it was simply misplaced.
The mobile app for your credit card may allow you to lock the card while it is out of your control. A locked card will give you a greater sense of calm while you look for it. Once you find the card, keep an eye out for unauthorized transactions that may have occurred while the card was out of your possession.
If you identify any fraudulent charges, contact your card provider immediately.
Deactivate Your Card
If your card is lost or stolen, contact your credit card provider online, by phone or through its mobile app—as quickly as possible. Thankfully, many credit cards offer zero liability to their users protecting them from unauthorized purchases. If your card provider does not offer this protection the Fair Credit Billing Act still limits card liability to $50.
Reporting a lost debit card is especially important, as the liability protections are not as strong on debit cards as credit cards. Ideally, you should report the loss before any unauthorized purchase can be made. Otherwise, make sure to report it no more than 2 business days after you learn about the loss or theft.
Assuming you have not also lost your cell phone, you can use it to readily access your account and lock or deactivate your…