Many of us know the awful feeling of realizing we forgot our debit card just as we were about to make a purchase or withdraw money from an ATM. Maybe someone stole it from your wallet or you misplaced it in the parking lot. If you lose your debit card, you may have trouble making essential purchases or even paying bills, such as rent. However, you shouldn’t freak out. If you lose your debit card, it’s important to take the following precautions right once to protect your money.
1. Review Your Financial Records
You should immediately connect into your online banking account after discovering the loss of your card and examine the most recent payment history for any charges you don’t recall making. Keep track of the amount, merchant, location, and date of any suspicious or unlawful transactions. Even if it seems insignificant, write it down. Scammers will often make little charges to your account to see if they can get through, then make larger ones if they succeed.
2. Get in touch with the Bank
The next step is to contact the bank or other financial organization that provided your debit card. Tell them your card is missing and that you suspect your card was stolen because of unusual activity on your account. All of the aforementioned information should be included in your report to the bank about the suspicious conduct you’ve discovered. To assist you, we have provided contact information for several major financial institutions. If your bank allows it, you can also report a lost or stolen card online. If you want to make sure no one else is able to use your card to make purchases, freezing it through your online banking is a solid first step before making any phone calls.
3. Pitch a Fix
The customer support professional at your bank will walk you through the process, but you should hang up with an answer to your problem. In most cases, this involves canceling the card and issuing a new one. Even if you think the card might turn up again, you should treat the situation as if it were permanently lost. You should always have a backup plan in case your card ever goes lost.
Even if your card was stolen, some businesses will make you pay to get a new one. If you need your new card sooner than that, you can pay extra for a rush order and receive it in as little as two or three days. You can receive a temporary card at a bank location if you need faster access to your money.
Make sure you jot down any confirmation numbers you may be given during the call. You can also get the representative’s direct line and employee ID by asking for it. Your claim can be tracked more easily in this way. After initiating contact with the bank’s customer support team, many institutions will send you a confirmation email or message through your online account.
4.Stop All Recurring Bills/Payments
If you have automatic payments set up for things like utilities or credit card bills, you’ll need to let those providers know that your card is no longer valid. Your card has been cancelled, therefore those payments will not go through unless you update your payment information. Send out individual cancellation notices to your service providers.
To avoid any fees or disagreements, you should also offer an alternative method of payment. Make sure you won’t miss any payments before you may add your new card to these accounts after it arrives in the mail.
5. Follow Up on a Lost Debit Card Report with Your Bank
Now that everything is in order, all you can do is wait. The CFPB mandates that your card issuer examine any potentially fraudulent charges within 10 business days and provide you with a full report within 13 business days.
If you haven’t heard from your bank yet, it’s probably a good idea to check in with them to make sure everything is moving along smoothly. You can follow up your initial phone conversation with a written summary of your claim. In all of your messages, restate the information you just gave. The confirmation or employee number will be helpful here. Also include the date you reported your debit card lost or stolen, the current date, and your account number.
Now is the time to formally record any fraudulent charges you may have discovered. A letter, email, or the secure messaging feature provided by your bank are all acceptable means of communication. Sending something via mail is acceptable, but only if you utilize a certified service and have a return receipt or tracking number.
Your credit card company may ask for this written report as part of their inquiry. It’s possible that your damages will not be reimbursed if you haven’t submitted a claim. Again, save a copy for your records, and store all your claim details in one convenient location.
6.Adopt Cutting-Edge Precautions
Taking precautions before requesting a replacement debit card will help you avoid future hassle. We can’t promise you’ll never lose your card again, but you can take preventative measures. Even if you aren’t 100% positive your card was stolen, you should immediately change your PIN. Keeping tabs on your financial dealings is also possible. Online and mobile banking make it convenient to check your account whenever and wherever you like. A purchase beyond a specific threshold will also trigger an alert. That way, you’ll be ready to take swift action if something suspicious does occur.
Keep your bank’s customer support number on hand for the future so you’ll never have to waste time searching for it. Put it with your other account details in an easily accessible place, like your phone’s contacts, or in a safe place. Make sure your bank has your current contact information in case they need to get in touch with you about anything related to your account.
Finally, it’s a good idea to have a backup form of plastic on hand in case you get stuck at the register without enough money to complete your transaction. A secured credit card can help you develop credit and get you out of sticky situations at the register if you don’t qualify for a traditional credit card.
Regulations Regarding a Misplaced Debit Card
When you lose your debit card, you shouldn’t freak out, but you should take swift action. According to the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), you will not be held liable for any further charges levied after you have alerted your bank of the problem. The time and date you reported your card lost determine your obligation. The quicker you react, the less risk there is.
Debit Card Misplaced
As was noted up top, replacing a lost card typically costs money. Perhaps you frequently misplace your debit card and are therefore looking for a checking account that doesn’t charge exorbitant replacement fees. Large financial institutions often do not charge for a straightforward replacement, but those that require expedited service typically pay an extra $5 to $25. The replacement fee at Bank of America is $5, with an additional $15 for next-day or overnight shipping. TIAA Bank will charge you $5 to replace your debit card.
The $7.50 replacement fee and $25 expedited shipping fee charged by PNC Bank now seem excessively high. If you are able to visit a PNC location, however, you can get a new card immediately. Free replacements are available at any TD Bank location, and new cards can be printed on the spot. In response to a rise in fraudulent activity, Chase discontinued a service that was functionally identical.
It’s a sad fact that most of us will lose our debit cards at some point. No matter which card issuer you use, you should always practice safe card handling. If you lose your card, you should call your bank as soon as possible to report the loss and any suspicious activity. That way, you can keep your money and get things back to normal as quickly as possible.