Loss of credit card abroad: here's what to do!

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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A credit card cannot be missing from the wallet of the experienced traveler. Avoid carrying too much cash with you and being able to pay (almost) anywhere with a simple gesture is a great convenience. However, there may be an inconvenience that is nothing short of unpleasant: a moment of inattention and our credit card is stolen from us, or else we lose it who knows where. Unfortunately, when we realize it, it is already too late. At this point, what to do? Don't panic and let's not ruin our vacation.


  1. How to block the card
  2. How to report a theft
  3. 6 Useful tips to avoid the theft or loss of your credit card
  4. User questions and comments

How to block the card

As soon as you realize your credit card has been stolen or lost, the first thing to do is to block it. This will prevent it from being used by third parties to make purchases and expenses at your expense and without your knowledge.
You can do this using the app of your bank, or by contacting special toll-free numbers, usually active 24 hours a day, which are generally shown on the back of the card (or can be found on the internet).

In case you decide to call, as soon as the communication is closed, do not forget to write down his name, date, time and any lock code.

If you prefer, or if you find it more suited to your needs, you can also decide to block your credit card directly in a branch of the issuing institution. As soon as you do this, the card will be deactivated and will no longer be usable. Later, ask the bank or company that issued the credit card to provide you with a account statement to verify in real time the presence of any fraudulent payments, paying particular attention to transactions of small amounts.

How to report a theft

Once the block is made, file a regular report at the nearest police station.
It is necessary to declare exactly what happened, as well as any transactions deemed suspicious. Don't forget to get one released copy of the complaint: by sending it by registered letter with return receipt, to the issuing institution and contesting the account statements within 60 days, you can thus obtain a refund in case of fraudulent use of the credit card without your knowledge. As a rule, after the credit institution has carried out the necessary checks, the debits are returned.
If the thief manages to use it, your liability is limited to a maximum of 150 euros and only if the use of the credit card took place before the notification of loss. All the money that is stolen after the report, however, must be refunded.
At the end of these procedures, you will be provided with a replacement credit card, with the same characteristics as the previous one. It is generally delivered by post to the owner, but if the theft or loss occurred abroad, it is possible to request a replacement emergency card.

6 Useful tips to avoid the theft or loss of your credit card

  1. As an old advertisement said: "prevention is better than cure". Remember, therefore, to keep a photocopy of your credit card (as well as the ATM and other documents) in order to always have the data relating to the latter available.
  2. Make a note of and always keep the telephone number for blocking. If you have to go abroad, remember to also take note of the number for blocking the credit card from the country in which you will be staying.
  3. Pay close attention to your bank statements - check them regularly and report any unauthorized or fraudulent transactions.
  4. Always avoid losing sight of your credit card when making payments in stores. It is also a good idea to type any pins as much as possible away from prying eyes.
  5. If you make online purchases, however, make sure that they are secure pages and that they transmit data in an encrypted manner (https).
  6. Finally, never reply to emails requesting personal data or login credentials to use your credit card (or debit card). So beware of so-called phishing.

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