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Posted on
17 March 2015
  • Comments (3)

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

Written by  Melaina

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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 and remember these three things:

- Always keep your PIN 100% secret and difficult to guess;

- Regularly check your credit card statement for unauthorized charges; and

- Immediately notify your credit card company if your card goes missing or is used without your authority.

Last modified on 07 April 2017
Melaina

Melaina

Melaina works in communications and marketing for Consumer Protection BC. She is our regular blogger and is always looking for topics of interest to BC consumers.  Feel free to ask a question related to any of our posts by posting a comment!

Comments  

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Griuchy 1

25 September 2015
Banks should be responsilble even for ATM use with a pin, as they are the ones that make it impossible to create a secure pin.You are limited to only 4 numbers, which is ridiculous in this day and age.
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Melaina

07 September 2016
Hi Jen -- Your liability depends on whether the card was used at an ATM or not. Why don't you contact us (1-888-564-9963 or ) -- once we figure out a few more details, we'll see if we can help find a solution!
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Jen

07 September 2016
Hi Melaina,

My credit card was stolen and used somehow with my PIN, despite me never writing it down anywhere. My bank is shifting the blame on me, as their credit policy states the cardholder is liable for all transactions used with a pin. The Government of Canada website also states that a bank may not cover liability if a pin was used so I'm now starting to lose hope. Is there a way I can find out if I should only be responsible for a maximum of $50?

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