If something unexpected happens with your credit card, you might need to contact the card issuer to place your account on hold. Loss or theft of your card could place your credit card into the hands of someone else who could use it without your permission. To minimize the unpleasant results of unauthorized charges, you can freeze your account temporarily while you sort out the details.
Call the 24-hour customer service number provided by your credit card issuer for emergencies.
Provide your credit card number and name to the account representative and inform the rep that you need to place a hold on your credit card account. Generally, credit card companies make this type of hold available if you lose your credit card or it is stolen. If you suspect unauthorized use of your card, you should also report it to the credit card company as soon as possible to have a hold placed on your account.
Write a letter to the credit card company that summarizes the telephone conversation you had with the representative. Include your credit card number, the date you lost or had your credit card stolen, the date you reported the loss and the name of the customer service rep you spoke with on the telephone.
Request a replacement credit card with a different account number so you can safely use your credit card account again. It might take several business days for a new credit card to arrive in the mail.
Keep the emergency number for your credit card in a convenient place if you don’t have your card accessible. You will need your credit card number, too. Look for these numbers on a monthly statement received from the credit card issuer.
It’s also possible to place a security freeze on your credit if you are worried about identity theft or fraud in general. A security freeze prevents new lines of credit but does not affect existing lines. To do this, visit the three credit bureaus’ websites and institute the freeze. A credit bureau might charge a nominal fee for this service.
If you report your credit card loss to have your account placed on hold before any unauthorized charges occur, you won’t be responsible for any fraudulent charges. If someone uses your card for an unauthorized charge before you report a loss, you won’t be liable for more than $50 of the charges.
- Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images