What Happens If Someone Steals Your Debit Card?

What happens if someone steals your debit card? Should someone steal your debit card, what you should do is immediately call your bank to cancel your debit card and replace it. "Should someone steal your...

"Should someone steal your debit card, what you should do is immediately call your bank to cancel your debit card and replace it", advises Gwen Evans, banking professional with ten years experience in the industry. Reporting your loss to the card issuers can limit your financial loss. Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies. It would be wise to program such numbers into your cell or home telephone to allow a quicker response time. Also, follow up your phone calls with a letter. Be sure to Include your account number, when you noticed your card was missing, and the date you first reported the loss.


Your maximum liability under Federal Law for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50.00 and most debit card companies voluntarily offer the same protections. If you report the loss before your credit cards are used, the FCBA (Fair Credit Billing Act) says the card issuer cannot hold you responsible for any unauthorized charges. In addition, if your number is stolen, and not your card itself, you should have no liability for unauthorized use. If for some reason your bank does not thoroughly protect you in the event of debit card theft, you may want to check your homeowner's insurance policy. There is a possibility that it might cover your liability for card thefts.




You must be diligent about checking your account transactions regularly. It is no longer necessary to wait until the end of the month for a statement. Most checking accounts offer online access where you can check your accounts daily, if you wish. It is recommended that you check your account on a weekly basis. Question or dispute any charges you do not recognize.

An unauthorized transfer can happen after your debit card is stolen. This can completely clean out the account to which the debit card is connected. If you report the loss within two business days after you realize your card is missing, you will not be responsible for more than $50 for unauthorized use. However, if you do not report the loss within two business days after you discover the loss, you could lose up to $500. Because of an unauthorized transfer. It might sound foolish to point out that if you do not notice or report and unauthorized transfer or charge within 60 days, you will be fully responsible, but many people have accounts they rarely use of check. It is important to check accounts you do not actively use as well as your main accounts.

The best protections against card fraud are to know where your cards are at all times and to keep them secure. For protection of ATM and debit cards that involve a Personal Identification Number (PIN), keep your PIN a secret. Do not use your address, birth date, phone or Social Security number as the PIN and do memorize the number. Also, be cautious about disclosing your account number over the phone unless you know you are dealing with a reputable company. Never put your account number on the outside of an envelope or on a postcard. Draw a line through blank spaces on charge or debit slips above the total so the amount cannot be changed. Do not sign a blank charge or debit slip, always tear up carbons, and save your receipts to check against your monthly statements. In addition, never keep your PIN number in your wallet.

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