Credit cards are most commonly used in the UAE as they increase the purchasing power of an individual and useful when you are running low on cash. Credit cards allow you to pay for the purchase before the end of the billing cycle.
Since it is a small card, it can be easily misplaced or damaged or lost or stolen. How do you go about if your card is stolen, lost or damaged? The credit card can be used for fraudulent transactions if it falls into the hands of a wrong person. To ensure that there is minimum damage in the event your card is stolen or lost, you need to:
- Call your bank and block the card immediately after you realise you have lost the card.
- It is good to have your credit card number handy and give out the details of the card to your bank.
- You need to create a timeline of events starting from the time you suspected the loss and the times you contacted the bank representative. Taking down detailed notes helps.
- You need to check with the bank if you will be liable for the charges made on your card till the time you have notified them.
Steps to follow if you have lost your card or if it was stolen
You must take the following steps if you have lost your card or if your card has been stolen:
- Notify the bank:Call the bank immediately when you realise that you have either lost your card or fear that it has been stolen. You must request the bank to immediately block the card.
- File a report with the police:After you have called the bank and blocked your card, you need to notify the police and get a report filed. This increases the chance of recovery and also allow you to make a claim for fraudulent transaction.
- Check your credit card statement:You must verify with your credit card statement to see if there has been any suspicious transactions and report them to your representative immediately. You can send a scanned copy of the statement to the representative to keep a printed copy for the record.
- Create a timeline of actions:Take detailed notes of the time and date you first reported the loss, the date you spoke to the representative, the name of the representative, documentation and information that you sent to the bank, emails exchanged, actions that were proposed to be taken while blocking the card and to issue a new one.
- Set a fraud alert:
- You need to verify the credit card statement and if there are any fraudulent transactions, you need to report it to the credit bureau. If you set up a fraud alert, the credit bureau will ensure that the lenders will not approve requests that extend any line of credit without actually confirming your identity.
- Follow up with the bank:
- You will have to follow up with the bank representative to see if further steps are to be taken to protect the card. You can maintain a line of communication with a representative of the bank that you trust and only entertain any form of communication from that particular representative. It saves you time explaining the situation over and over to different representatives.
- Secure your accounts:
- You might want to consider changing the PIN numbers of all your other cards. You can register for a 3D Secure PIN which will offer additional protection and safety against fraudulent transactions on all your cards.
Preventive measures you can take to safeguard your credit card
You can take the following preventive measures to keep your credit cards safe:
- You must sign your card.
- Never leave your credit card unattended.
- Keep your cards separately and not in your wallet, this way you can minimise the loss to an extent.
- Do not write down the PIN number on your card or any piece of paper in your wallet.
- When you are making any payments ensure that the card is within your eyesight.
- Make a list of the credit card numbers, so you can quickly notify to the bank in the event you lose your card.
- Check your monthly statements. If you find any transactions that you haven’t made, report them immediately.
- Don’t give out your card number to anyone over the phone. If you absolutely have to give the card number it should be when you have made a call to the representative.
- Have a 3D Secure PIN in place to ensure there is added protection to your card.
- Take an insurance against fraud.
- Don’t leave a paper trail.
- Secure your mail.
- Destroy the credit card statements and records.
- Regularly monitor your credit card statement.
You must be careful and mindful of your credit cards. You must not reveal your credit card information to anyone and not trust anyone with your credit card. Take the credit card with you if you absolutely have the need for it, otherwise you can leave at home in a secure place.