What would you do if you lost your credit card? Or had it stolen from you? Or discovered that somehow it had been used without your authorization? In any of these situations, it’s important to tell your credit card company right away.

Informing the credit card company that you no longer have the card, or that you have lost control over it, immediately ends your liability if it is improperly used in the future, so act quickly! (This is the relevant section of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act that applies here.) You can do this by telephone, but you may want to follow up with a written statement. Keep a copy of your communication and the way you delivered it so you can prove that you advised the company of the card loss. Once you notify your credit card provider, it becomes the responsibility of the credit card company to ensure that it no longer approves any charges on your account.

Even if your lost or stolen credit card WAS used before you informed your credit card company, you may not be liable for all the fraudulent charges. If your card was used:

  • With your PIN and not at an ATM, you are responsible for a maximum of $50.
  • Without your PIN and not at an ATM, you are responsible for a maximum of $50.
  • With your PIN and at an ATM, you are responsible for the entire amount.

So, to protect yourself from someone else fraudulently using your credit card, remember these three things:

  1. Always keep your PIN 100% secret and difficult to guess.
  2. Regularly check your credit card statement for unauthorized charges.
  3. Immediately notify your credit card company if your card goes missing or is used without your authority.

If you are curious to learn more about this topic, check out blog posts listed below.

ADDITIONAL READING:

Using your credit card for online shopping? Get these tips!
How to request a refund from your credit card provider
Were you signed up for a credit card without being fully aware of it? Here are your rights