There have been reports when expensive items (such as gold jewelleries, iPhones, and Macs) were purchased off with the use of another’s credit card – and sadly, without his or her knowledge. Does this news seem unbelievable to you?
This news shouldn’t come off as a surprise. In Singapore, people have reported cases of credit card fraud – this includes reports of lost and/or stolen credit cards and lately, reports of phishing of credit card information is also on the rise. This is according to the advisory by the Singapore Police Force, which states that SGD 4 million of losses were attributed to credit card fraud just in 2019 alone.
In this day and age when criminals are continually getting creative, you have to raise your level of credit card protection. Once you realise that your credit card is lost and/or stolen or that your credit card information has been compromised, you should report it to the right authorities immediately.
So, where do you start?
Definition of Lost and/or Stolen Credit Card
Cases of lost and/or stolen credit cards fall under the category of credit card fraud. Credit card fraud refers to the unauthorized financial transactions done from your account.
Unfortunately, cases of lost and/or stolen credit cards is on an upward trend and has happened to many people. As criminals (both physical and cyber) get better at their game, it can happen even to those who are extra careful with how they keep their cards.
How can you say that your credit card is lost and/or stolen?
- You’re knowledgeable that your credit card got stolen
- You suspect that your credit card got stolen because you can’t find it in the usual spot you place it
- An unidentified person is using your credit card
- An unidentified person used your credit card and reached your credit card limit
- Your credit card is inaccessible even with the correct pin
- You’re a victim of identity theft; an unidentified person is using your name, address, and other personal information to submit other credit card applications
Why You Should Report Lost and/or Stolen Credit Card
You should report cases of lost and/or stolen credit cards because your account on a missing credit card remains active. This means that another person (an unidentified user) can use your credit card as he or she sees fit – and you’re still held accountable for any authorized charges.
This also means that you need to process the report immediately. Fortunately, most banks have customer hotlines (international). These hotlines are reachable even if you are far from home.
Here are some emergency hotlines that you should remember:
- American Express – 1800 299 1997
- Citibank – +65 6225 5225
- DBS (or Development Bank of Singapore) – 1800 339 6963
- HSBC (or Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) – 1800 472 2669
- Maybank – 1800 629 2265
- OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation) – 1800 363 3333
- Standard Chartered Bank – +65 6747 7000
- UOB (or United Overseas Bank) – 1800 222 2121
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Report Lost and/or Stolen Credit Card
Once you suspect that your credit card is missing, you should start first by searching for it. You can retrace your steps and try to remember the places that you have visited that you could have potentially dropped your card. Then, if you’re 100% sure that it’s lost and/or stolen, it’s time to act on filing for a report.
In many cases, if your credit card issuer checks up on your account and notices suspicious activity in it, you’ll receive a call informing you of the suspicion. From the report, it’s up to you to follow up. In such a case, it’s advisable to check up on your account immediately.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to report lost and/or stolen credit card:
#1 – Contact the issueing bank of your credit card immediately – the numbers of common issueing banks are listed above. Approach the section that handles credit card fraud cases and usually, these services are available 24/7, able to assist you even when you are overseas. They will then notify possible merchants not to charge from your credit card (based on your card number) and this will also result to an immediate credit freeze.
#2 – Make a police report. If you think that your card is not misplaced, but actually stolen, you should immediately make a police report. You may think that reporting the stolen credit card to the issueing bank is sufficient, but making an official police report gives you the required documentation to prove that you have not acted with gross negligence and that limits your maximum liability to S$100 of any unauthorized trasaction thereafter.
#3 – Destroy old records and update with new information. If you are previously enrolled in online banking or have recurring bill payment on your card, cancel your enrolment or erase your old credit card information. Once you’ve been issued a new credit card and a new credit card number, update your records. This prevent any lapsing of payment, which then result in unwanted fee penalty.
Possible Solutions for Retrieved Credit Cards
If you retrieved lost and/or stolen credit cards after you filed for a missing credit card report, you should re-contact the bank, as well as the police. Inform them of the retrieval.
Once they are aware that you’re the card holder again, they will lift any imposed credit freeze on your account. With that, you can use your credit card freely once again.
If your card was damaged, you can file a request for a replacement card. While in many cases this is free, requesting for a replacement card can sometimes come with a small fee of SGD $5 – depending on the issueing bank.
You may also request for a new PIN for better account security. However, some banks do not allow this. Instead of re-generating a PIN, they will cancel your account and issue a new credit card to you instead– and along with it, you can then create a new PIN.
You should also look at further ways to improve the security on your card. One simple way is to request banks to notify you immediately through SMS and/or email of any transactions made on your card. These services are real-time, free and you can personalize the transaction amount to be notified. So, if you receive a transaction alert when you have not made any purchase, you are immediately aware of fraudulent activities on your card and report it.
Conclusion: The Need to File for a Report
Based on the discussions above, reporting a lost and/or stolen credit card is not too difficult. It simply takes three steps. Just be sure to take note of important information, such as the name of your bank, as well as its emergency hotline, and the Singapore Police Force online services.
Avoid delaying the report for a lost and/or stolen credit card because you’re liable for the losses if the card is registered under your name. Only once you report a missing credit card case will credit authorities act on a solution: as mentioned, performing a credit freeze on your card immediately. With that, you’re off the hook for any further liability.
So, what are your thoughts regarding this matter? Did you experience having your credit card lost and/or stolen? How did you resolve the problem? Leave a comment below to share what’s on your mind.