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What Should I Do If I Find Someone’s Credit Card?

June 4, 2014
Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
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You’re strolling down the sidewalk and you find a lost credit card on the ground. What should you do? Assuming that you are not a criminal seeking to party on someone else’s dime, you have many options. Your choice depends on how much you want to get involved in making things right. Here’s a look at several of those choices.

Here are your options

We all want to do the right thing, but sometimes the best right thing isn’t always obvious. Let’s say you find that card in a store or at a gas station. One option would be to stay there for a few minutes and see if someone comes by and asks if you saw a credit card on the floor/ground. Make sure they ask you – don’t volunteer the information. You could say, “Why, yes. If you tell me the name on the card, I can give it back to you.” If this were a Hollywood movie, you would also end up meeting the person of your dreams.

A simpler option that carries no risk or surprise: Take the card straight to the cashier, say you found it on the ground and leave. If you are in a location where that isn’t possible, take it home, shred it and throw it away.

You can also call the number of the back of the credit card. You don’t have to give your name. Just inform the rep that you found someone’s card, and ask what you should do with it. Let them instruct you.

Another option is to contact the police. Let them know you found the card and ask them for instructions. Chances are the police are too busy to care if you live in a big city and they’ll tell you to destroy it or call the credit card company.

» MORE: How to Dispute Fraudulent Credit Card Charges

Don’t choose this option

One thing is for certain, though. Don’t just leave the card and not get involved at all. The worst thing that can happen to anyone is identity theft, and you don’t want to feel like you facilitated it.

Credit card in sand image via Shutterstock