You do your best to keep your credit card information safe. Even so, there could come a point when something goes wrong.
Maybe you leave your credit card on the counter after making a purchase. Perhaps you make an online purchase from a public computer. Or it’s even possible that you could lend your credit card to someone you thought you could trust.
Regardless of the details surrounding how your credit card was stolen, it’s critical that you take immediate action. Here are four steps you can take:
1. Contact Your Credit Card Company
The moment you realize that your credit card is gone is the moment you should contact your issuer. Explain to them what happened, as this allows them to put a temporary pause on the account.
Of course, your credit card company can also issue you a new card, which will arrive in your mailbox within a few days.
2. Change Your Online Login
This is something you should do regularly, but it’s particularly important in the event that your information was stolen.
If you don’t change your login, anyone who accessed your online account in the past will continue to be able to do so in the future.
3. Watch for Purchases
If you notice any unauthorized purchases, regardless of the amount, dispute these with your credit card company. You won’t be responsible for them, but this only holds true if you file a dispute and follow through as required.
4. Protect Yourself in the Future
Now that you know what can go wrong if your credit card and/or credit card details are stolen, it’s time to devise a strategy for protecting yourself in the future. Do things such as:
- Know where your credit card is at all times
- Never lend your credit card to anyone — even if you trust them
- Regularly change your online account password
And of course, you should review every credit card statement for unauthorized purchases. This alone will help you pinpoint any activity that’s not associated with you.
You hope that you never have to take these steps, but you never know what the future will bring. And unfortunately, there are people out there who want nothing more than to use your credit card to their benefit.
Should you lose your credit card or have reason to believe someone has stolen it, don’t wait to take action. Any delay can result in more headaches down the road.