Step 1. Report the lost or stolen card to the issuer
Contact the credit card issuer as soon as possible if:
- you lose your wallet or credit card
- you suspect someone may have gotten your credit card information
- you notice strange activity on your credit card account
You aren’t liable for any purchases made after you report the loss to the issuer.
If you deal with a major bank or credit union, check their website. There’s usually a number to call to report lost or stolen cards. In most cases, the issuer will cancel the missing card and send you a new one free of charge.
Step 2. Report the incident to the police
If your credit card has been stolen, it’s wise to file a police report. It may lead to the thief being charged.
Contact the credit reporting agencies to let them know about the missing card. The two credit reporting agencies in Canada are Equifax and TransUnion.
Discuss whether to have a “fraud alert” placed on your file. That means businesses or banks will call you before changing anything in your accounts. Or opening any new ones.
You can also add an explanation to your credit report saying the charges aren’t yours. We have information on contacting the credit reporting agencies. See our coverage of credit reports.
Step 4. Destroy associated card and cheques
Destroy any other cards or cheques connected to the account of the missing credit card. If you used online banking with the card, cancel access to the account. If you had any automatic billings set up on the card, notify those service providers.
Step 5. Follow up with consumer agencies
If you think someone may have stolen your credit card information through a scam, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. You may prevent others from being ripped off by the same scoundrels. Visit the CAFC website.