Initial Steps That Should be Taken if You are a Victim of Lost or Stolen Credit Cards
By Danielle Buffardi

Learning that your credit cards have gotten stolen or gone missing always creates such a frenzy for the victim, and for good reason. Stolen credit cards and stolen identification cards can lead to fraudulent spending and your identity being stolen. Here are four steps that will help you to get back on your feet should you ever misplace or have your credit cards and/or identification cards stolen:

Step #1: Make copies of all your credit cards and identification cards now so that you will have your account number and the information on the credit card companies so that you can call the appropriate numbers to cancel your cards and report them stolen. Keep the copies in a safe and secure place until you receive your replacement cards, then be sure to shred the copies you made of your old cards. Not many people have their account numbers memorized and this is a crucial step to ensure you are giving the authorities the proper account numbers to watch out for.

Step #2: As soon as you discover that your credit cards are gone, call the corresponding companies immediately to report the instance. Don’t wait a minute longer as the more time you wait, the more time you are giving the perpetrator time to spend your money and/or steal your identity. Keep a record of who you spoke to, the time and date you made the call, and what was said during the conversation. This way you have records that you reported the stolen credit cards and have cancelled them should anyone attempt to charge on your cards.

Step #3: Place a “fraud alert” on your credit cards with all three of the major credit reporting agencies, which are, TransUnion 1-800-680-7289, Experian 1-888-397-3742 and Equifax 1-800-525-6285. Once you place the fraud alert you will be given copies of your credit report. Review them carefully and look for anything out of the ordinary or spendings that were not your own. If you find any, report them immediately to said credit bureaus and begin the process of getting any fraudulent information removed.

Step #4: File a police report in the town and city within which the loss or theft of your credit cards took place. Request a copy of the police report so that you have unquestionable proof should you need it to report to the credit agencies or the DMV. Carry it with you until the incident has been resolved.

Follow these steps if you ever find yourself a victim of lost or stolen credit and identification cards. Taking the proper steps fast and effectively can help to ensure you don’t become a victim of identity theft or fraudulent spending.

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