Lost / Stolen Credit Cards & Phones in France: What to Do
A lost phone, a missing credit card or a stolen wallet are the things of nightmares. Here’s our damage control guide so you can react quickly in the unfortunate event of a missing object in Paris or in France.
Lost Credit Cards and Debit Cards
- To avoid fraudulent charges, block all your cards as soon as possible. To do so, call your bank or dial the national reporting center for all lost/stolen French bank cards at 08 92 70 57 05 (0.35 euro/min, available 24/7). Make sure to note the registration number (numéro d’enregistrement or ) given to you during the call, which you’ll need to confirm the suspension of your account. Here are emergency numbers for several major card companies:
- Visa: 08 99 18 96 94
- Mastercard: 08 00 90 13 87
- American Express: 01 47 77 70 00
- Report the stolen items at the police station closest to where the theft occurred (it's where lost items are often returned). If you're in the Paris area, determine the nearest station here (in French), The police will file a Declaration of Theft or "récépissé de declaration de vol". You will need copies for your bank and the insurance.
- To confirm the theft, send the declaration de vol to your bank in a registered letter, along with a completed form. Note, however, that once the bank receives this confirmation, your bank account can never be reactivated.
All mobile phones have an IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. To find out yours, simply enter *#06# and a 15-digit number will pop up on your screen. Note it down and keep it separate from your phone. By using the IMEI the service can be suspended and in some cases, the phone can be traced.
- To report a cell phone theft, call the police and let them know the IMEI number, as well as the time and place the mobile was last used. To determine the phone number of the nearest police station number, refer to the Commissariat site.
- To suspend your French cell service, call your provider or suspend your account via the internet. Here are the numbers for the major telecom companies:
- Orange: 3900 in France and +33 9 69 39 39 00 from other countries
- SFR: 963 or 06 1000 1963
- Free: +33 1 78 56 95 60 from Europe or the rest of the world
- Bouygues: 0 800 29 10 00
And remember, everything is replaceable!
The following articles will provide you with more tips about living in Paris:
credit photo @Eduardo Soares