Are You Liable for Charges on a Lost or Stolen Credit Card?

By Randall Orser | Personal Finances

If your credit card has been lost, stolen or used without your authorization it is important to tell your credit card company right away.

Informing your credit card company that you no longer have the card or do not have control over its use immediately ends your liability if it is improperly used in the future, so you need to do this quickly! See the relevant section of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act that applies.  

You can inform the credit card company by telephone, but it is also a good idea to follow up with a written statement.  Keep a copy of all communications and the way that they were delivered so that you can prove that you informed them of the loss. 

Once they have been informed, the credit card company becomes responsible to ensure that it no longer approves any charges on your account. 

If your card was used before you informed your credit card company,  you may not be responsible for any charges, if your card was used:

  • With your PIN and not at an ATM, you are responsible for a maximum of $50.
  • Without your PIN and not at an ATM, you are responsible for a maximum of $50.
  • With your PIN and at an ATM, you are responsible for the entire amount.

So, to protect yourself from someone else fraudulently using your credit card,

  • Always keep your PIN 100% secret and difficult to guess.
  • Regularly check your credit card statement for unauthorized charges.
  • Immediately notify your credit card company if your card goes missing or is used without your authority.

If you would like more information here are some links:

Using your credit card for online shopping? Get these tips
How to request a refund from your credit card provider




About the Author

President/CEO Number Crunchers® Accounting Inc. Learn how to just say stuff it to this bookkeeping thing with our 'Just Say: "Stuff It" To Bookkeeping program.