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What to Do If Your Credit Card is Stolen

Woman's wallet being stolen

Whether someone picks your pocket or hacks into your data online, when your credit card is stolen it can mean anything from a minor inconvenience to full blown identity theft. Here’s how to protect yourself.

What You Should Do First

Obviously, report the card missing to your card issuer. Don’t wait – make the call as soon as you notice your card is missing. If you don’t know what number to call, it should be on your credit card statement.

Secondly, you need to check your recent transactions on your credit card statement. Are there any charges there that shouldn’t be? Typically, a credit card thief is in it for the short term-gain and will simply use your card as quickly as possible buying multiple purchases in a couple of hours

Luckily, in most cases, you’re not responsible for transactions you didn’t make or approve. Check your credit card agreement or contact your financial institution to confirm the amount you have to pay in the case of unauthorized use of your credit card.

Reporting a Stolen Card

Be sure to contact not only your credit card company but also a credit-reporting bureau if your information has been compromised. You can put in a credit alert for free through Equifax. TransUnion is also another option but they charge per credit alert. In addition to contacting the credit-reporting bureaus, law enforcement must be notified to cite a police report as well.

Equifax Canada                       Toll-free: 1-800-465-7166

TransUnion Canada                Toll-free: 1-877-525-3823

In addition to contacting the credit-reporting bureaus, law enforcement must be notified to cite a police report as well.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre operates through a partnership of the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Competition Bureau. It’s the central Canadian agency that collects information on economic crime.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:              Toll-free: 1-800-495-8501

Protect Yourself Online

Putting your information online and saving it to make automatic payments is convenient for most but this could set up your account information to be hacked. Retyping your credit card number can be monotonous but it will assure that no one, not even those in your household, can get your card information.

Protect yourself from credit card fraud online by also doing the following:

  • Use only trusted and secure websites when sharing personal information or buying something online,
  • Keep your computer firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware systems up to date,
  • Avoid giving credit card information over email as it isn’t secure,
  • Avoid using public computers at libraries or Internet cafés to do your banking or online shopping,
  • Clear the history and cache of the computer when you finish your session if you’re using a public computer.

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