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? Learn your rights in this situation and what you may be liable for.

The first step

The most important first step is to tell your credit card company right away.

The law in BC

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.

Are you liable for charges on a lost or stolen credit card?

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:

  • 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.

3 tips to protect you from fraudulent charges on your credit card

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.

Where to go for help

If your credit card is stolen, contact your credit card provider right away to let them know what’s happened. If you have questions about your credit card policy, your provider would be the best resource to assist you.

If your credit card company is not honoring the liability rules for lost or stolen cards (listed above) and you can’t resolve the issue with them directly, please submit a complaint to us so we can assess it.

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About Consumer Protection BC

We are not-for-profit regulator responsible for overseeing certain industries and specific consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will try to offer a referral to a relevant organization, if one exists. Other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.