Stolen credit cards allow thieves to obtain more than just a shopping spree. The thief can obtain information about your identity and wreck your credit and good name. It is essential that you perform the five following items the moment you notice your card has been stolen. It is also important that you do not panic; this can cause you to delay taking action. The longer a thief has your card, the more damage he or she can do to your credit rating.
Contact the police
Make a report and write the case number down. Keep a separate piece of paper in a secure place that contains the card’s information, the company phone number and the numbers of the credit reporting bureaus.
Contact the credit card company
Report the card as stolen. Give the representative the case number from the police report. You may not be held responsible for charges made on a stolen card.
Contact the credit reporting bureaus
Again, report your card as stolen. Give each of the representatives the police case number. It may seem redundant, but the separate bureaus can have different information between them; this may allow a thief to open a card using your name if all three are not notified.
Follow up your calls
Follow up your calls to the credit card company, credit reporting bureaus and your credit insurance company with certified letters. Send all letters by signed receipt requested. If any dispute arises about whether or not you notified a company or when, you have proof of your letter. Keep all of these copies in a safe place so that you can get to them quickly.
Obtain credit risk insurance
Do this before anything happens. The credit risk insurance company will monitor your credit reports and alert you to any unusual charges. This can include someone trying to use your card in another state or someone trying to open additional cards using your name. Contact the insurance company right after you contact the police and your credit card company.
If you receive a call from the credit insurance company or credit card company with information about any attempted charges on your card, contact the police with the information. They can send officers to the business quickly; perhaps the thief was caught on a security camera. Press charges if an arrest is made, even if the thief turns out to be someone you know.