A lost or stolen debit card is a scary event – and for good reason. If someone uses this card, funds will come directly from your bank account. So what do you have to do? Act quickly and this will be behind you before you know it.
We’ll discuss the details below, but the most important things to know are:
- Contact your bank immediately to prevent any unauthorized fees on your card
- The sooner you act, the more you may have to pay if someone fraudulently uses your card. the card issuer register limits your losses.
In a worst-case scenario, a thief can use the card to drain your bank account but that your regular bills don’t stop coming in. If your account goes empty, bounced checks are made and you can’t make automatic payments. You will have to pay fines and your bank will add to the pain with overdraft fees. What’s more, scammers can find a way to spend more money than you have in your account.
You can avoid this scenario by following the steps below.
Contact your bank
Contact your bank as soon as you know that the card is missing (if it has been stolen or if you are unable to find a misplaced card quickly). Ideally, you have online access to your account or a bank statement practically with your card issuer’s telephone number. Logging into your account online or with your bank’s app is especially helpful because someone can see it when you use the card, you lost it, and you may even be able to deactivate the card right away.
If you have to, you can do a web search for your card issuer website, but beware of scam websites that have been set up to catch worried consumers (who are in a hurry to pass personal information like a social security number because they don’t have one Card number on hand). Be sure to click a little to ensure that you are on a legitimate website free of major technical, spelling, or grammatical errors. Heed all security warnings from your web browser.
In some cases, you may not be able to reach your bank directly (on holidays, weekends, and financial institutions with limited opening hours, for example). But card issuers can contract with service providers who can freeze your card and you have to chase with your bank during business hours.
What to say
Let your card issuer know that you don’t have your card and that it will either be lost or stolen. If you find any unauthorized transactions online, you should let them know. If you just lost the card (and you are not aware that someone stole it), ask for a temporary freeze. The issuer can deactivate the card for a few days in case it appears anywhere. Some card issuers do not offer temporary freeze, so it may be necessary to cancel the card and reissue it.
It’s a good idea to follow up with your card issuer in writing, especially if you’re worried about someone, fraudulently using the card. Send a letter to the issuer stating that you do not have the card and are requesting cancellation. Be sure to use the date that the letter is included and use a delivery service to confirm that the letter has been delivered (USPS return receipt or a delivery service tracking number).
Cancel Automatic billing
Now that your card is blocked, notify anyone who could legitimately try to use the card. Billers could automatically take payments off the card every month, but these payments don’t go through anymore. Let your biller know this in advance, and Number provides a replacement card so you can avoid fees and inconveniences.
In some cases, your bank might allow you to beat a few fees if these fees have previously come through the card regularly (for the past six months, for example). This gives you a little more time to update everything, but check with your bank to be sure.
How bad can things be?
Now that you’ve secured the card against fraudulent use, you may be wondering how much this event will cost. It is very likely that your only expense will be paid a fee to your card issuer for a replacement card.
If someone fraudulently uses the card, your liability will depend on how quickly you act. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) says that you are responsible for all costs after notifying your bank that the card is missing. If all transactions go through before you tell the bank, you can limit your losses to $ 50 as long as you tell the bank within two days of realizing that the card is missing. If you pass the two-day mark, the risk increases to $ 500, but you still have to notify the bank that your credit card is missing within 60 days of the bank sending your order. If you fail to notify the bank within 60 days, your liability is unlimited: thieves can expire your account and run out of credit lines,
As you can see, the faster you act, the safer you are.
What if you are responsible for fraudulent fees? Thieves can use the card before you deactivate the bank. You can ask your card issuer to delete these transactions at any time, but banks don’t have to fulfill your requests. If you end up taking charges, contact your insurance agent to find out if your homeowner or tenant’s insurance will cover all of your losses.