Losing your credit or debit card is one of the worst things that can ruin your day. Especially when you are trying hard to manage your hectic schedule and get by your day. Losing your plastic money is a grave situation as there is a lot at stake. You could have a high credit limit that may expose you to high risk. Particularly when you are not sure if the card was stolen or lost. In any case, you need to take a few steps to avoid any misuse.

Inform your card issuer

The very first step you must take after noticing a misplaced card is to inform your card issuer. They will help you by blocking your card and prevent any fraudulent usage. The number is usually given on the backside of your credit card. You may also find the number on your monthly statement. If you don’t have anything handy, you may google to find the right number to register your complaint.

The customer service executive will ask certain information that you must be ready with. They may want to know your bank account number. Don’t worry if you do not have this information handy. The customer service executive may use your social security number to track down the details. They may also want to know the date when you noticed your card was missing and the details of your last transactions. They may also take your consent for blocking your cards.

Although the call is enough in itself, it is always better to write a formal letter for the sake of keeping a record. This will come handy if there are any questions asked later.

Understand your liability

Several regulations protect you and limit your liability if fraudulent transactions were made using your card. For instance, the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) protects consumers under such circumstances. The act limits the liability of consumers and protects their interests. Federal law states that consumers subjected to stolen cards have a maximum liability of $50. However, if the fraudulent transactions are made after you report the incident, you will not be liable to pay anything. Certain credit card issuers have policies in place to prevent their customers from any liabilities. It may be a good idea to ask them about your liabilities when you report your lost card.

Check your card statement

Despite every assurance from your card issuer, it is a good practice to check your next credit card or debit card statement. It will give you an idea if you are still being charged for any fraudulent transactions. If you come across any such line items, you must connect with your card issuer and get it sorted.

Check your insurance

Even though the liabilities are already limited, the maximum you can be charged in $50. However, you may check your homeowner’s or renters insurance policies to know if you are protected against a credit or debit card theft.

Avoid such situations in the future

Once you have gone through this hassle, you would never want to go through it again. It is recommended to prepare yourself for such mishaps in the future. Here are the steps you can take.
Be aware of where your cards are – Are you absent-minded and often forget where your stuff is? If yes, you may start keeping your cards together in a safe place. This way you will know where your cards are.
Always keep your cards in a wallet – Avoid placing your cards in your pocket or slipping them into your blazer. It is a good idea to safely keep them all stacked together in your wallet.
Discard the old cards – It is always a good idea to cut up your debit and credit cards that you no longer intend to use. Even better is to inform your card issuer to block the card before you do so.
Keep the contact numbers with you – You may want to keep the contact numbers of your card issuers in one place. It will avoid any last-minute panic if you were to face such a situation in the future.