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10/18/07

What to Do If You Have Lost Your Credit Card

Most of us carry our credit cards in our wallets or purses. What happens if the wallet or purse is lost or stolen?

First, as soon as you notice that your credit card has been lost or stolen, immediately call the bank that issued the card and report that the card has been lost or stolen (based on your situation). The effect is that the bank will put a hold on your card to prevent any subsequent purchases. Additionally, if your card has been used since you noticed its disappearance, most credit card companies will reimburse you for these fraudulent charges.

Second, find out the procedure for getting a new card from the bank. It may require some paperwork, but it is worth it to prevent fraudulent charges and to obtain a new card. If your card is stolen, you may have to file a police report in order for the bank to proceed with your request.

Third, if you use that card to auto-pay certain bills, you need to call those companies and notify them that your card has been stolen or lost and that you need to switch the account to another card (at least until you get the new card).

At this point there is not much else that you can do. I know it is frustrating and that you feel violated, however, as long as you notify your credit card company, initiate the process to get a new card, and notify any companies that auto-bill that card, you have solved the problem. One of the main things you should inquire about before you get a credit card is the procedure for disputing fraudulent charges. Make sure that you are not liable for these charges and that the dispute procedure is easy. Other than that, there is not much else you can do.

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