Cancel Lost Credit Cards
You should cancel lost credit cards as soon as you become aware that you no longer possess them or within a reasonable period of time and even cancel them after you recover them from unsecured places because when we lose control of our credit cards even for a short period of time, the card information can be used to make online purchases or create counterfeit cards if they fall into the wrong hands.
There have been numerous cases where criminals have used the lost credit card numbers to make purchases either by phone, online or in person using fake cards manufactured based on the information obtained from the stolen cards. By the way, can you guess where some stupid criminals have their purchased goods shipped to after they make the fraudulent transaction? It’s hard to believe it but they ask the merchants to ship the goods to their home address. Some criminals have even in some cases returned the credit cards to the rightful owner after shopping. Although it is unknown why criminals bother to return the cards after they harm the credit card owner but it could be due to guilt feelings. Also, criminals are not always as smart as we give them credit for considering their judgment to use their own address to receive the fraudulent purchases and return the credit cards to the rightful owners after committing the fraud. However, associating a shipping address with a fraudulent purchase is a good starting point for the investigators.
As a credit card fraud preventive solution, you should always cancel lost credit cards even if you recover them later from public places. The credit card information may be compromised when you lose them and can lead to identity fraud if you don’t replace them with new ones immediately by cancelling the old ones. It is recommended that you cancel lost credit cards as soon as you lose them without looking for them for a long time because it is not worth it especially since banks will gladly replace your cards at not charge. Even if you recover your cards from public places or strangers, it is better to cancel them just in case the card information has been compromised. Recovered cards could be more dangerous than cards never found because you may have this feeling of security while possessing your cards and never realize that someone else may know and use your name, credit card number and credit card security code printed in the back of the card to commit a fraud.
Also, when you lose your credit cards, don’t look for them forever. A lengthy search for the lost credit cards on your part may delay your efforts to cancel lost credit cards, thus, allowing criminals to abuse your lost credit cards even more. As soon as you realize that you have lost a credit card, think of where you might have left it such as your home or office. Look for it there and if you find it, good for you and if you don’t, cancel lost credit cards immediately. However, even if you recover your lost credit cards from places where they might have been exposed to criminals, you should still cancel them immediately. You see, a criminal may even temporarily get the hold of your credit card by distracting you in order to obtain the information needed to commit the identity fraud, and then somehow return the credit card immediately to you to clear any suspicions. Also, there are some cases when skimming devices are used in businesses such as restaurants to steal card information.
Once you recover the lost or stolen credit cards, you may feel safe while the criminal goes shopping. That’s why you should always cancel a lost credit card even after you recover it from strangers or public places, unless you recover the card from a trustworthy location like your home and office where no one else has access to. You should even cancel lost credit cards from the homes of family members and friends because we don't always know the people that enter their homes for various reasons like window cleaning and other services.
Return to the credit card fraud page from "cancel lost credit cards".