First Steps in Dealing With a Stolen Credit Card By Joe Farinaccio ~ Money Cash Thru Internet
Money Cash Thru Internet: First Steps in Dealing With a Stolen Credit Card By Joe Farinaccio

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Steps in Dealing With a Stolen Credit Card By Joe Farinaccio

If you're faced with handling the issue of a stolen credit card then you have to assume somebody is going to try and use the account. Call up the creditor immediately. You'll probably be advised to close that account number and replace it with a new one.

But doing only this may not be enough. Why? Because the thief may try and use your account number with other personal information of yours to tap, or alter, other accounts you have with them.

You can place a fraud alert on all accounts with that credit institution. If you have usernames and passwords for these accounts then update them. (Avoid using common usernames and passwords that include things such as your social security number, mother's maiden name, child's name or other family member's name.

As a general rule, establishing a password for your bank & financial accounts is a good thing. It's often possible to formally request that a password be required in for any action to take place with your accounts -- such as a withdrawals, name/address changes, billing information disclosures, etc.

Request that the institution call you whenever anyone tries to apply for credit in your name. This credit alert might say something like, "Please contact me immediately at this phone number before issuing any new credit. All credit applications must be validated and personally authorized by me."

You want to monitor the activity in all your financial accounts, especially withdrawals. Report any unauthorized transactions or suspicious activity to the security department of your financial institution immediately if any issues arise.

Go ahead and file a police report too. You may not want to do this. After all, it's just one credit card, right?


If you do find yourself having to purge your credit profile of fraudulent accounts then you're going to have to "prove" these accounts weren't really yours to begin with. This is where a police report comes in handy.

Just know that when it comes to identity theft, both creditors and credit reporting agencies want to see accounts you identify as being fraudulent on a police report.

Vigilance must be maintained. And unfortunately, one can never rest assured they're 100% in the clear when it comes to preventing identity theft. Many gaps and holes exist in the system allowing people to be victimized. But doing your part may prevent a stolen credit card situation from becoming a full-blown identity theft nightmare.

Joe Farinaccio is the author of "ID Theft 911: Step-By-Step Instructions for Stopping Identity Fraud, Cleaning Up Your Credit Profile, and Getting Other Records Fixed" ... available at

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