In this day and age everyone fancies owning the shiny piece of plastic, i.e. a credit card. Some of us own multiple cards. The usage of credit cards has drastically increased due to the sheer convenience of owning one – you don’t have to carry around money in your wallet fearing you might lose it. However, there is a huge difference between losing change in your wallet and losing your credit card. The difference is that, your wallet may not have all the money in your bank account because none of us carry that amount of cash. But if you lose your credit card, you stand a chance of losing every dollar on it. If someone gets a hold of your credit card, they are not going to be frugal in their use of Your money, they have already thrown caution to the wind that your credit card account is going to be wiped clean. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to lose your credit card than losing hard cash from your wallet.
There are some things that you can and must do in case you have lost your credit card. Losing your credit card here does not simply mean losing the physical rectangular piece of plastic, it also refers to losing your credit card information. You must be aware that you don’t need to flash your card each time you wish to make a payment with it, all you need is your card information and PIN. So, if you feel like your PIN has been disclosed to anyone you do not know or trust, it is as good as losing your card even if you physically still have it in your wallet.
What can you do to prevent the fraudulent use of your credit card once you have lost it or it has been stolen?
The first step you need to do when you have lost your card or your card and/or information has been stolen is contact the issuing bank as soon as you can. Every bank in Singapore has Customer Service agents available to assist you over the phone or Toll Free Numbers that you can call on at any point in time. This way you do not need to wait to inform them of your lost card only during their operating hours. Once you inform your bank of the lost/misplaced card, they will block/cancel the card immediately to prevent any further use on it, thereby securing your money. Even if you have misplaced your card and are unsure if it has been stolen, this is a wise thing to do because your card can always be reactivated later if or when you find it.
If your card has indeed be stolen, in that case, the bank will cancel your card and issue you a new one at a cost. The cost you have to bear to replace your card can range anywhere between S$5 and S$30.
Note – If you do not notify your bank regarding the loss of your card immediately, you will be liable for all charges on your credit card.
Once you have notified your bank regarding the loss of your credit card, they will require proof of the same so that they don’t think you are shying away from making your credit card payments. So, the next step you need to do is to go down to the police station and file a police report. You cannot simply call the police station and inform them of the incident. The police report has to be written and must contain the investigator officer’s name. You must then make a copy of this report and submit it to your bank. This applies even if you have lost your credit card overseas.
This step is especially useful if you have lost your credit card overseas. In case you have travel insurance, you should contact your insurance agent who will then request you to obtain supporting documents that will be required if you need to file a claim.
Next steps –
For every unauthorized charge on your credit card since you lost it or it has been stolen, you will have to raise a separate dispute with the bank. If you fail to do so, then you will be liable to pay for each and every transaction even if you have not made them. Once you inform the bank regarding raising a dispute, they will provide you with the dispute form that you will need to fill up and send back. The better choice here will be to go down to the bank and fill up the form in person because you can speak with an executive or the bank manager directly for any assistance regarding the procedure. After you are done filling up the form, attach the copy of your police report and submit it. If you have any claim forms, submit them as well.
If you have notified the bank regarding the loss of your credit card immediately, then the maximum liability that you have to pay on unauthorized charges on your card is S$100 according to ABS (Associated Banks of Singapore). However, this cap will not apply if the bank can prove that you have been negligent in not reporting the loss sooner or if you have acted fraudulently in the use of your card. However, depending on the amount lost as a result of your lost/stolen card, the bank may simply write off the amount because they would must rather retain you as their customer than lose a customer or invite media attention on the issue and smear their brand name.
Irrespective of which the issuing bank is for your credit card the above steps remain the same in case of loss of your credit card. Therefore, in an unfortunate event that you have lost your credit card or if your credit card information has been stolen, you can always fall back on these steps to resolve the issue with minimum stress and conflict.