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Finding out that your credit card has been compromised is stressful, but there are steps you can take to minimize the financial damage. Here’s what to do as soon as you learn of potential credit card fraud:
Call your card issuer
If you notice any suspicious activity on your card or realize your card is lost or stolen, then call your issuer immediately to suspend your account and issue you a new card with a new number. Some card issuers allow you to do this through their app, too.
You can also ask about your liability. Most major card issuers offer zero liability policies and by law, your liability will be no more than $50.
Carefully review recent charges
It’s worth taking a close look at all of your credit card accounts to check how far back the fraud extends and if it affects more than one account. If you lost your wallet, for example, then you’ll probably want to make sure all your financial accounts are safe by replacing your debit card, too. If you were hacked online, then you might also want to change the passwords on your financial accounts.
Update your accounts
If your compromised card paid for recurring charges, then you’ll need to cancel them and redirect those bills to your new credit card as soon as you have it. If there is a delay, then you might need to find a different way to pay in the meantime so avoid getting hit with late fees.
Respond to requests for more information
As your card issuer conducts its fraud investigation, it may send you a letter asking you to confirm or deny the validity of certain charges on your compromised card. Be sure to respond to those requests quickly and accurately so the investigation can conclude.
Protect yourself going forward
You might not be able to entirely eliminate the chances of experiencing credit card fraud, but you can minimize them. Avoid shopping on suspicious websites, don’t share your credit card with others, and don’t conduct credit card transactions in public places using public WiFi networks. It’s also a good idea to get your free credit report once a year to check for any suspicious activity or accounts you don’t recognize.
» MORE: How to prevent credit card fraud