Suffering from the theft of your credit card can be an extremely stressful and worrisome time. You are left stranded to figure out what exactly must be done in order to avoid having your credit ran into the ground while the thieves are out trying to score as much free stuff on your dime as they can before the account is limited. It is good to be able to think on your feet and if you find yourself in this situation, you may want to consider some of the following pieces of advice as a way to mitigate any possible damage the thief may cause to you.
Take a Deep Breath
Virtually in all cases, you will be in a panicked and foggy mindset when you learn of the incident. It is important that you calm yourself down before taking any actions so as to be sure you are thinking straight and making the right decision. In the vast majority of instances, credit card companies protect you against fraud and insulate you from the negative effects of a credit card gone bad by offering zero liability. Once you have calmed down and collected yourself, you can then begin to make the necessary arrangements to fix this messy ordeal.
Call Customer Service
If your identity has been stolen without the theft of your personal credit card, you can turn it over and call the number on the back to be connected 24/7 to the card issuer’s customer service line that handles lost and stolen credit cards (otherwise, search online for the card issuer’s CS number). You will need to explain to them that your card was stolen and let them know the last time it was in your possession. The representative you speak with will ask a series of questions to better determine any transactions or expenditures made while your account has been compromised.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit
To determine over the long-term whether any damage was done to your credit, you may want to periodically check your credit score a few weeks after the theft took place. While many credit card companies and card issuers do a great job at eliminating any negative effects of a stolen credit card, problems can slip through the cracks and end up penalizing you on everything from the amount of credit you can obtain to the interest rate on your mortgage. It is absolutely vital to keep an eye on your credit, but do not check it more than once every few months as repeated monitoring can negatively impact your credit score.
Know That You’re Not Alone
Millions of individuals fall victim to the crime of credit card theft every single year and you can take solace in knowing that no one deserves this. Try to learn from the mistakes that led to the credit card theft as a way to better insulate yourself from future threats. Keep all information confidential and make sure your card always finds itself back into a secure place where you have access at all times. By following these steps, you can handle the theft of a credit card and prevent it from happening again.