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Don’t Hesitate to Report a Credit Card as Stolen

While I don’t own a Playstation 3, I have been following the recent news of the Playstation Network being hacked [3] and personal information being stolen, including credit card numbers. One really interesting point that several news organizations have been harping on is whether or not you should cancel your card if you suspect it may have been stolen.

Let me make it simple for everyone – report the card as stolen, cut it up, and get a new card within 7-10 business days.

If you ever suspect your credit card’s security has been compromised, get a new one. It doesn’t hurt your credit score [4] to report a card stolen. The credit card company appreciates it (they’d rather pay for a replacement than pay their fraud department to track down fraudulent payments). The only loser in the whole deal is the thief. It just causes you a minor inconvenience since you won’t have that card until a replacement arrives and you’ll likely have to change your online banking information.

Thieves are very clever nowadays. While there are plenty of stories of small time crooks stealing $500 out of an ATM using your card, more and more sophisticated thieves are billing just a few dollars a month for several years. They don’t kill the golden goose, they simply pick up the shavings every once and a while. You’d notice $500 but would you notice a $19.95 charge every month? Less likely.

Avoid all that by reporting your card as stolen.