A credit card theft or loss can create a very complicated situation for the victim and their finances. In fact, a good part of the frauds committed with credit cards come precisely from this situation. It is necessary to consider basic questions about what to do in case of losing our card or in case of credit card theft.
Credit card thefts
In recent years, fraud has decreased significantly due to improved credit and debit card protection systems. However, card fraud is still one of the most committed financial crimes.
Year after year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are affected by the theft or loss of their credit cards. In the best cases, it is reduced to a period without being able to use the card, and the card can be blocked. In other cases, it leads to more or less serious fraud.
Preventing theft or loss of credit cards
Preventing the loss or possible theft of our credit cards involves what we, as users, can do. Some prevention methods are very simple; they consist of incorporating a series of routines when using this everyday financial product.
First, when we make payments with our cards, we must never lose sight of their use. That is basic; giving the card to a third party to swipe it through a POS is never a good idea, but it is even less so if we also lose sight of the card in the process.
Of course, we should always keep the tickets issued for the purchases or services we pay for with the cards. That is essential if we have to make claims in case of fraud made with our card by third parties.
The first action we must take into account is immediate communication with the issuing entity of our cards in case of loss or theft. In many of the cards, we find the telephone number to call already directly printed.
Canceling or Blocking a Stolen Credit Card
When we take the steps to report a lost or stolen credit card, we contact the issuing institution and automatically block the use of the lost or stolen card. We can request the replacement of the card after canceling the lost or stolen card. That process may take time. The replacement of a card usually takes a variable time period, depending on the entity.
We may have to make a documented statement about the loss or theft. In fact, the second action to consider is to report the incident to the police. This report will be useful for possible future situations where someone fraudulently uses our card.
If the card is subsequently misused, this data and the report are vital. In addition, it is necessary to take note of the time and date when the call was made to the entity to request the cancellation of the card. Also, the name and surname of the agent who answered the call. This information is very useful when handling complaints.
Credit card insurance
It is important to bear in mind that most credit card companies offer insurance when you sign up for a credit card. However, these insurances sometimes have different coverage.
Insurance for theft or loss should cover any charge made to our account up to 72 hours before we notify the bank after the theft or loss. In this case, it is always necessary to comply with the communication in time so that the insurance assumes any expense made without our consent.
Before contracting a card, it is always important to thoroughly review the conditions of the clauses of its associated insurance. In fact, in some cases, we can extend these clauses and coverage. However, extensions may result in a slight increase in insurance costs.
Can I avoid fraud due to the theft of my card?
It is difficult to guarantee that you can 100% avoid fraud committed with a card that has been stolen or lost and fallen into the wrong hands. As we have seen in the article, there are several things we can do to prevent theft after the crime has occurred.
In general, not going out in the street carrying too many cards, not losing sight of them when making payments, and being quick to report their disappearance or theft are very important things. On the other hand, we have not looked at fraud committed by data theft, which is even more common than the physical theft of the card itself. However, this will be the subject of a later article.
In short, although security conditions have improved greatly, credit cards are still a prime target for criminals. As consumers and owners of a product, we should protect ours as much as possible and apply all the safety practices we can.