Lost or Stolen Bank Cards and Mobile Cell Phones

What to do and where to call if your credit cards or telephones are lost or stolen in Germany...

If a bank or credit card is lost or stolen the bank or credit card issuer must be contacted as soon as possible so that the account can be blocked and the card cancelled (sperren). There is a single free 24-hour national number for cancelling lost or stolen bank and credit cards which will direct card holders to their bank or credit card issuer:

  • Tel: 116 116
  • Tel: +49 116 116 (there is a charge for this service when phoning from outside Germany)
  • For a comprehensive list of participating banks and issuers: Click here
  • Tel: +49 30 4050 4050 (another service that can be called from abroad)

Depending on the bank or credit card issuer, there may be a charge for the replacement card, but most institutions are insured for such events and any financial losses incurred by the account holder should be returned. It is important to report losses immediately, so that cancellation can be implemented quickly. It is also wise to report bank and credit card theft to the local authorities. This should ensure that any financial losses incurred are returned without the need for an investigation by insurance companies. Contact details for the most popular bank and credit cards:

  • Visa: Tel: 0800 814 9100
  • Mastercard: Tel: 069 7933 1910
  • The German White Pages, Das Telefonbuch, has a list of emergency numbers for lost credit cards: Click here and select credit cards in the drop down menu

Lost or Stolen Mobile Cellular Telephones

All mobile telephones have a unique code, the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) code. This belongs to the handset and is associated with a card, the SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) card, which holds the telephone number assigned to a customer.

  • A SIM card: Holds the telephone number and memory. Access can be protected by personalising the card with a 4-digit PIN number
  • An IMEI number: This is a mobile telephone's unique identification number

The IMEI number provides protection if a phone is lost or stolen. The IMEI code is clearly shown on the paperwork at the time of purchase. Note it down and keep it separate from the telephone. Or to find the IMEI number, enter: *#06# on the keypad. If a mobile telephone is lost or stolen, inform the service provider in the first instance to have the account locked and prevent anyone else from making calls from the phone. It may also be possible for them to trace the telephone. The owner is responsible for payment of any calls made until the SIM is blocked unless they have taken out insurance with the supplier. If the phone is stolen, a declaration should also be made at the nearest police station; the police will need the IMEI number. Most mobile phone companies have a dedicated emergency contact number for reporting losses. There is also a single free 24-hour national number for reporting lost or stolen mobile telephones which will direct the person to their service provider:

  • Tel: 116 116
  • Tel: +49 116 116 (there is a charge for this service when phoning from abroad)
  • Das Telofonbuch has a list of emergency numbers for lost mobile telephones: Click here and then on emergency service mobile telephone on the drop down menu under emergency numbers

The numbers to call to reach the main operators are:

T-Mobile Tel: 01803 302 202
E-Plus Tel: 0177 1000
Vodaphone Tel: 0800 172 1212
O2 Tel: 0800 552 2255