You’re standing at the counter in your local coffee shop, ready to buy a large cappuccino, but you can’t seem to find your debit card. Your stomach drops as you realize your card is not in your wallet. Where did you leave it? Was it stolen? How long has it been gone? This common scenario shows why you need to know what to do when you lose your debit card.
While debit cards have made shopping faster and easier, they come with certain risks and responsibilities. It is estimated that by 2023, debit and credit card purchases will top $10 billion per year. A 2019 Nilson report revealed that 208.7 million Americans (82%) had a debit card. By 2023 more than 84% will likely carry a card that is directly linked to a bank account.
The most important thing to remember if you lose your debit card is you must act quickly.
Time is of the essence. Follow this list of what to do if you lose a debit card to protect your account, your credit history, your credit score, and your peace of mind:
If the bank or credit reporting agencies give you any trouble, consider contacting a credit reporting lawyer for a free consultation.
Now that you know what to do when you lose your debit card, you can act quickly and reduce your losses. For information about other cards, the Federal Trade Commission offers tips about what to do if you lose a debit card, credit card, or ATM card.
The sooner you notify your bank about your missing card, the more likely you can avoid:
Since a debit card allows electronic fund transfers from your account, the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) can limit your potential losses. Your maximum liability depends on how quickly you act when you realize your debit card is missing. In general, the longer you wait to report stolen money, the more it will cost you.
In many situations, if you report your lost debit card within two business days, your maximum potential loss is $50. If you miss the two-business day timeframe, you can still limit your potential losses to $500 if you notify the card issuer within 60 days of the date your regular account statement was issued. If you don’t give notification within 60 days of your statement date, you could face extensive losses.
The EFTA is complicated, and your rights may vary from those described here. If you are dealing with unauthorized debit card charges that the bank refuses to credit back to you, contact one of the consumer protection attorneys at The Financial Justice Initiative to discuss your specific circumstances.
If you want to use a debit card, keep your PIN secure. Don’t use the same PIN for multiple cards or accounts. Remember to change your PIN often, and never write it down on your debit card or anywhere in your wallet. Keep a record of your accounts, account numbers, card expiration dates, and the card issuers’ phone numbers in a safe place.
It is also very important to monitor your credit reports regularly to catch unauthorized transactions quickly. Create text or email alerts to track your debit card and catch unusual activity as soon as possible. After you have lost a debit card, you may need to review your credit reports for months or years to ensure no further activity is recorded against your credit history.
Losing your debit card is not only irritating, but it can also be financially and personally devastating. When you realize your card is missing, you must act quickly. Trust the nationwide team of Fair Credit Reporting Act lawyers at The Financial Justice Initiative to help protect your rights and guide you through the process of recovering your money and clearing your credit reports.
For a free case consultation and helpful advice about what to do when you lose your debit card or other fair credit reporting issues, call us today at (855) 929-1051 or fill out this simple online form.