Identity Theft I've just had it happen. It can happen to anyone. It is exhausting to deal with and in spite of that, it is essential to do what must be done. I felt so exposed the last couple of days because someone got my numbers and canceled my cards and tried to get the reissues without my knowing. Do not let this happen to you. It felt like 36 non-stop hours of high crisis. I hope this doesn't come across as preachy or as "gee, that's common sense." I was truly exhausted today and it took my all to keep going through the process until it was complete. I've learned the hard way, and would like to offer the following ideas should anyone here lose their credit card or notice a purchase they did not make, or if a merchant declines a purchase on their card, of if they lose their social insurance/security number, bank card and PIN, or someone gains access to their line of credit... 1. Go to your bank immediately. If it is after hours, do it as soon as the closest branch is open. You can also make a phone report, especially if it is after hours. But if your card(s) is rejected by a merchant or huge chunks of money start exiting your account or you receive a new unrequested card, there is a problem on the account and probably not one of your making...so in that case, best to go to the bank in person. 2. At the bank, go to the customer service counter and say precisely what has happened. Report it as "suspected fraudulent use" of your credit card, as possible "identity theft," as bank card and PIN theft... 3. Make sure the customer account info they have about you in their file is correct. If it is not, ask who made the last change (and when) to each bit of info that is wrong. They might not tell you who because they have their own fraud investigators and there are "privacy issues", but they'll know you're on the ball. (Don't hesitate to take notes.) 4. Call the credit card compan/ies and cancel your card(s) that have been lost/stolen/used for a purchase that you did not make. Ask for reissues and ask when they can get them to you by mail or to the bank by courier. Watch for it in the mail or ask for the bank to call you when the card arrives. 5. Activate the new card as soon as you get it by taking photo ID and your social security/insurance card to the bank. (I didn't realize that if you have reported stolen cards, they may not activate you on the phone, so you're best to go to the bank and get it right the first time. ) 6. Put passwords on your account(s) that you must give to a representative if any change in personal info, number of cards, credit limit, etc. is to be made on your file. This is simply another level of security. 6. Most countries have credit bureaus. Set up accounts with all of them - might cost you up to say $50+-, so not much compared to losing your life savings. You can ask them to flag your account so that any time someone who has your "info" tries to use it to get a new card or to take out a loan, the bank/credit company will see that there's a warning attached to your file, and they will contact you before any transaction is approved. The cost of not taking these time-consuming and very frustrating, bureaucratic, red-taped steps is losing your life savings, losing any chance of getting a new card in the future, finding yourself in very deep debt for things you never purchased, losing your home because someone takes a loan out against your property and doesn't pay down the loan. Be very careful with every credit card, line of credit, and bank statement you get from now on, whether or not you've had a problem. These problems can happen to anyone and they feel awful. Check your monthly statements to see if there's any unusual purchase that doesn't belong to you. Report any glitches to the bank right away. (Most of us even have a "purchase pattern" - a few standard items from one or two stores that go on our cards each month.) Again, I hope this wasn't too preachy. But it was such a hassle for me the last two days, and I'd hate to see anyone else go through it.