There is nothing worse than losing your wallet or having your cards stolen. What can you do though if the worse happens and you have your cards stolen?
If you've lost your credit card or suffered a stolen credit card, you must be very aware of identity theft!! Any fraudulent use of a Visa or MasterCard or any 'plastic', is governed by Sections 83 and 84 of the Consumer Credit Act.
The following guide explains how when you have suffered a stolen credit card, you will be protected from financial loss - but identity theft is something separate!
Notice of loss or misuse
If you realise that a credit card is missing, you must inform the credit card company as soon as possible, preferably by phone. You will find details of who to contact on the written credit card agreement that you received when the card was issued. If this information is not displayed prominently in the agreement, then you will not be legally responsible if your card is misused.
As soon as the credit card company has been informed of the loss, you cease to be liable for any lost or stolen credit card. The credit card company may require verbal notice of a loss followed by written confirmation, which must be received within 7 days. If this is the case, the written notice is needed to make the verbal notice effective.
Extent of liability
Once you have notified the credit card company of the loss of your card, your liability for its misuse will depend on whose possession it is in.
There is no limit to your liability if the person misusing the card has it with your permission and is usually permitted to draw on the account. For example, if your husband/wife is an additional cardholder on your account and exceeds his/her authority, you will be liable.
If your credit card was lost or stolen and you informed the credit card company immediately :
The information included in this article is based on the law applying on 1 January 2005. Please seek your own legal advice for more information regarding your rights.