Mr. Pinball's Blacklist--Reporting Stolen Credit Cards

If you are a Visa or MasterCard Merchant, then just use the regular approval process to report the cards as stolen.

The problem is that if you are NOT a Visa or MasterCard Merchant, then you have no easy and quick way to report the credit cards as stolen, but it is possible. You will need to call the Report Stolen/Lost Card number:
Be aware that it may take 15 minutes to a half hour to report one or more stolen cards and may take multiple calls and insisting that you are legitimate and want to help them. You will have to give them your name and probably your phone number to help convince them you are not doing something wrong.

Since it can take so long to report the cards, it is best if you have a bunch to report all at once, but DO NOT DELAY very long. Time that the card is not turned off is time that scammers may be using the card.

The scammers pay money for each stolen credit card, so turning them off gives them financial incentive to stop.

Credit Card Fraud Reporting is Broken

We wish reporting the stolen credit cards was quick and easy, but it's not. Visa and MasterCard don't seem to care!

Here's the problem--if you are not a Visa or MasterCard Merchant then Visa and MasterCard don't have a centralized way to report stolen credit cards. When you first try to report them as stolen by calling Visa or MasterCard they sometimes don't know what to do and will often send you to the wrong place! Visa seems to be better than MasterCard at directing you to the right place.

The reason why they don't seem to care is that Visa and MasterCard don't handle individual accounts. They are merely the central clearing house for transactions. Fraud is just an annoying part of overhead that the member banks directly deal with, NOT the parent organization.

To report a stolen or lost card you have to go to the issuing member bank, which may be a local bank like First Bank of Virginia, or a large national bank like Bank of America. Only the member bank can close out or suspend an account. If you look at the back of your own Visa/MC you'll see a phone number to report the card as lost, etc. That number is not for the Visa or MasterCard parent organization, but is for your issuing bank or a group contracting with your issuing bank for this.

So for you or Visa/MasterCard to turn off an account, the issuing member bank has to be contacted. You have no way to find out the issuing bank directly. You will have to be referred to the bank by Visa/MasterCard. The merchant accounts do this as part of the transaction approval process, but if you're not a Visa/MC Merchant, then it's a big hassle.

Visa and MasterCard just don't have a centralized way to turn these cards off. Can you believe it?!!! Seems dumb, but that's the way it is.

We tried talking to these places to set up some sort of web page or email address to report these things and got nowhere. If you work for Visa or MC, then give us a call and let's figure out a way to do this!
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