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Finding out your financial information has fallen into the wrong hands can be unnerving. If your credit card has been lost, stolen or otherwise compromised, your first reaction may be one of fear.
But don’t let a scary situation take a toll on your finances. Follow these five steps to get your finances back on track if you find yourself in this predicament.
1. Act quickly. At the first sign of any suspicious activity on your card — or at the first realization that your card is missing — call your issuer immediately to suspend your account and issue you a new card. Your new card will have a new number, but don’t worry — this won’t reflect on your credit report as you opening a new account.
2. Update your information. Next, log in to your account and make sure all contact information is correct. You’ll want to guarantee that your new card is sent to your proper address and that the credit card company has an accurate phone number to reach you.
3. Stay secure. In the event that a hacker has made his or her way into your personal online account, you’ll want to take your updating a step further. Change your account password as soon as possible so no one other than you can log in. Also, keep in mind that you’ll want your credit card account password to be different from that of your other accounts so hackers can’t access all aspects of your identity.
4. Change payments. You definitely don’t want to allow your compromised credit card to affect other areas of your financial life. If you have your card attached to any of your bills, remember to change any such recurring payments to another card to avoid late charges. You can always go back and update your preferred payment method again once you receive your new card.
5. Be vigilant. Finally, even after you complete all of these steps, stay on top of your credit card account to ensure that the fraudulent charges were indeed reversed. You’ll also want to continue regularly monitoring your statement for any other suspicious charges.
Keep in mind that most credit cards offer $0 fraud liability when your card is compromised, meaning you won’t have to pay anything. In the event that your card doesn’t, though, the maximum you’ll have to pay for fraudulent charges if your card has been stolen is $50.
After your card is compromised, you likely won’t be liable for a lot of money, but you will be on the hook for the headache that follows, which is why you should undertake the aforementioned steps as quickly and diligently as possible.