If you don’t keep daily tabs in your finances including your plastic credit card, you could be in for some serious trouble should you discover it missing one day. Luckily, today’s credit card companies have a much better policy and protocol in place for such emergencies but there is still a risk that if you don’t act fast when a credit card has been lost or stolen, you could lose more than your card.
Here is what you need to know about handling an MIA credit card:
Check Your Stuff Regularly
If you are busy all the time, running from one place to the next, it may be hard to remember what you did during any one day. Get into the habit of sitting down each night and check through your wallet to ensure all of your debit and credit cards are accounted for if they were used during the day. The sooner you know something is amiss, the faster you can act. If you don’t realize your card has been missing for a period of time, you may be out of luck when the time allowance per the credit card agreement has already passed, leaving you liable for the fraudulent charges. Get on The Phone
When you do realize a credit card is missing, you need to act immediately by calling your credit card company and reporting it. By reporting a missing or stolen card that has been subsequently used fraudulently, you will only be held responsible for a small portion of liability (usually up to $50). In many cases, depending on your card, you may not be required to pay anything at all.
Make A List
In case you ever lose just one card or a whole wallet full of information, you should always have a back up list of your credit cards, the company contact number, your account number, and other identifying pieces of information photocopied and listed on a separate sheet of paper, stored safely at home. In the event you lose something, you’ll have a handy list to reference.
Carry Only What You Need
Get out of the habit of carrying everything you have on your person at one time. In the event you lose your purse or become the victim of a theft or mugging, you don’t lose access to all of your financial resources. Instead of having to cancel all of your credit cards at one time, you might only have one or two to worry about.
Fraud Can Be Slick
Con artists have so much more technology and inventive ways to steal your money. Many don’t even need the actual card to steal from you. The only way to protect yourself is to consistently check your monthly statement for unauthorized charges and report anything unusual immediately. Never give information about your credit cards or finances over the internet or over the phone, unless you initiated the phone all. Shred all of your old credit cards and information rather than toss them in the trash for others to easily find.
When you have to report a lost or stolen card, make sure you stay up on your credit card company to ensure the matter is being taken care of properly.