What To Do if Your Credit Card is Stolen

If you have lost or had your credit card stolen you should immediately contact the issuer of your card. Most issuers have a twenty-four hour, toll free phone number that you can call to contact them in emergencies. You might also want to follow up the phone call with a letter that includes information about your request, your account number and when the card was stolen.

You should know that the maximum amount you are liable for when your credit card is stolen is fifty dollars. If you report the stolen credit card before any charges are made on it, you will not be liable for any of the illegal charges made with it. In addition, if the loss involves only your credit card number and not your credit card itself, you are not liable for any of the illegal charges.

When your first statement comes after your credit card has been stolen and duly reported, review the bill carefully and look for any unauthorized purchases. If you find any charges that you wish to dispute the best thing you can do is send a letter to the credit card issuer with a description of each charge you find to be questionable.

As with when you reported the card stolen be sure to include your account number, the date the credit card was stolen, when you first noticed the unauthorized charge and when you first contacted them about the issue. The more detail you can provide when informing them of this questionable charge, the easier it will be to rectify the situation.

Another thing you may want to do once you've found that your credit card is stolen, or if you see questionable charges on it, is to check your homeowner's insurance policy to see if it covers your liability for card thefts. If not, some insurance companies will allow you to change your policy to include this protection.

One point to keep in mind is that ATM and debit cards work a little differently where liability is concerned. With these types of cards, if you don't report the loss within two business days after your card is lost or stolen, you could be responsible for up to five hundred dollars worth of fraudulent charges.

You also risk unlimited loss if you don't report your ATM or debit card loss within sixty days of discovery. As with credit cards, once you've reported the loss of your ATM or debit card, you cannot be held liable for additional unauthorized transfers that occur after that time.