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"Report it missing the minute you realise"

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The golden rule

The golden rule is to report it missing the minute you realise. It may well be sitting in a lost property office somewhere - but if it has fallen into the wrong hands, it needs to be cancelled immediately. Failure to report it missing straight away could potentially render you liable for any fraudulent activity on the card.

It is also worth reporting your card as lost or stolen (even if you still have the card in your possession) if you discover transactions that you don't recognise have been made with it. If your card has been cloned, this will stop any further use of the fraudulent card.

Either locate a recent copy of your credit card statement to find the phone number to reach your card issuer, or if you have online access for your credit card, you may be able to use the website to report your card missing. However, it's probably best to actually talk to someone, to put your mind at rest and ensure immediate action has been taken.

Make sure you can provide these details:

  • Your account number (although don't delay if you don't have it
  • The date you noticed your card was missing
  • The date and amount of your last purchase, if you know it

Your card issuer will cancel the card to prevent any further use and arrange for a new one to be sent out. It might mean a couple of days without your card but, more importantly, any thief will be unable to access your credit as well. If your missing card does turn up, it's now useless – so cut it up into little pieces to destroy.

"If there are disputed payments on your statement, you'll normally be reimbursed"

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What if the missing card has been used?

If your card has been stolen, the thief may have used (or tried to use) your credit card prior to the point when you realised it was missing. If there are disputed payments on your statement, you'll normally be reimbursed for any fraudulent activity.

The only exception to this, is if the card provider can demonstrate that the disputed transaction was a result of you acting fraudulently or with gross negligence. They could potentially refuse to refund you anything. If they do have a reason to suspect you, it will be up to them to prove it.

However, you should never:

  • Authorise someone else to use a card in your name
  • Fail to adequately take care of your card and details
  • Disclose crucial information like PIN numbers to anybody else

If you have done any of these, the card provider may well feel they have a case. But gross negligence is different to plain carelessness, if the bank can demonstrate that you failed to look after your PIN or password properly, they would be quite within their rights to insist you are liable for up to £50 for each fraudulent transaction. In reality, most providers will probably waive this.

 

Looking after your cards

Knowing where your credit cards are at all times is one of the best ways to avoid a lost or stolen card.

  • Carry only the cards that you'll need and leave the others at home in a secure place. Check periodically to make sure you still have them all
  • Avoid placing cards directly into your pockets. It's easier for them to slip out
  • Make sure your cards fit snugly inside the slots of your wallet. If the slots have become loose or worn, consider purchasing a new, stiffer wallet that will hold your credit cards securely in place
  • If your credit cards are inside a wallet or bag, keep it closed and close to you at all times

In short, be alert when you're out and about, try not to be careless and don't give thieves the chance to gain access to your credit.

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Know if you're accepted before you apply with QuickCheck

  • Get credit - up to £1,500
  • QuickCheck won’t affect your credit rating
  • Get a fast response in 60 seconds
Check Now 34.9% APR Representative (variable)
Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender

Know if you're accepted before you apply with QuickCheck

  • Get credit - up to £1,500
  • QuickCheck won’t affect your credit rating
  • Get a fast response in 60 seconds
Check Now 34.9% APR Representative (variable)
Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender