If a bad actor gets their hands on your credit card, they could use it to make unauthorized purchases in your name. That’s why it’s crucial to act quickly if you suspect a credit card is lost or stolen. Below are a few steps to take the moment you notice concerning account activity or an empty slot in your wallet.
What to do if your credit card is lost or stolen
1. Report it
You should call your financial institution the moment you realize a card is lost or stolen. They’ll help shield you from criminal activity by freezing the card or placing a hold on your account. They can issue you a new card and restore your account access after confirming your account is secure.
If unauthorized charges were made to your account, be sure to check back regularly to see that they were refunded over the next few billing cycles.
Sometimes, a criminal may gain access to your credit card not through the physical card itself but by gaining access to your personal banking information, including login credentials. Among other tactics, they may use the Dark Web to find this information. And if they found it there, who knows how many more criminals did, too?
Put a stop to any additional fraud by updating your password. Don’t use a birth date, address, phone number, pet names, or Social Security numbers when crafting a new password. Instead, use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
3. Contact the credit bureaus
Sometimes, a lost or stolen credit card may not be one you use often. As a result, you may not frequently review its transaction history. This can spell trouble quickly, as you may not notice fraudulent activity until a criminal has had a chance to rack up a significant credit card balance – and even cause you to miss payments. Protect your credit score by reviewing your credit report and contacting the three main credit bureaus to inform them a charge was due to fraud.
If you choose to leave credit cards you don’t use open, be sure to check in on them with the same frequency as the ones you reach for often.
GECU is here to protect you from credit card fraud and its repercussions. If your credit card is lost or stolen, reach out to us immediately so we can take the necessary steps forward. You can help prevent future fraud by never sharing personal or banking information with untrustworthy individuals and using Online Banking and our mobile app2 to review your transaction history at your fingertips.2