Report Loss of Credit Card Immediately

By BankBazaar | May 9, 2012

In case you are caught up in any scenario where your credit card has been stolen, or you have lost or misplaced it, your first instinct must be to report it immediately to the bank’s call center. If you do not take any prompt action, then you might find yourself with a massive outstanding balance, for your credit card that has been misused by someone else. In India, the common practice is that credit card companies refrain from taking on the burden of fraudulent transactions, at the time of a lost card scenario, unless the customer immediately reports about it to the credit card company. Often, banks may secure cardholders with zero liability for a lost credit card, when the loss is reported by way of a written or telephonic complaint. With this zero liability facility, customers are not required to pay towards any of the fraudulent practices that have been indulged in from their stolen credit card. However, the first step must be initiated by the customer by reporting about the lost card as soon as possible, to the bank’s 24 hour call centre.

You will then be directed by the tele-banking executive to submit your personal information, which will be verified by them before deactivating the card with immediate effect. Subsequently, you will enjoy zero liability on all fraudulent transactions that are charged to your card. Banks may also offer some leeway, wherein banks offer an insurance cover that takes all responsibility of fraudulent practices until your card has been deactivated. By paying just a minimal amount, you can secure yourself against any form of malpractice after your card has been stolen. Customers are required to enquire about such insurance plans as they are often not marketed along with the credit card, thus making it an optional facility.

If the international standards of banking are to be taken into consideration, in a country like US, a customer has no liability towards any unauthorized transactions, once you have reported the loss of card to the bank. Also, if you are a customer with a strong financial discipline, then chances are that the bank may waive such fees off your account, in order to retain and promote such financial behavior. However, for every other day that you wait after the card has been lost, you will be fined with an additional amount. It is believed that although customers are well-protected against such fraudulent practices in the US, such fines help customers realize that they have lost their card, thereby reporting it immediately.

This practice is not prevalent in India as banks lose out a lot of money when the card is swiped. As a result, they must charge the customer for such a loss, shifting the liability on the shoulders of the customer. Also, banks are familiar with the spending patterns of their customers over a period of time. When credit cards are stolen, banks notice an irregular purchasing pattern wherein large sums of money are spent within a few hours or days. In order to rule out the tendency of a lost or stolen credit card, banks call up the customer personally to enquire on whether the purchases were made by them personally or not. Opting for a personal loan or any other kind of loan to finance such liabilities should definitely not be your option in situations where you might be cash strapped. Therefore report any fraud as it comes to your notice.

It thereby helps any additional financial burden on the customer by way of fraudulent practices. Thus, when banks take such preventive measures to protect the interests of their customers, it is the responsibility of the customer to report such a loss as soon as possible, to initiate action against the wrongdoers at the earliest.

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