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Credit, ATM and Debit Cards: what to do if they are stolen or lost

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ATM, Credit and debit cards provide a convenient and easy way to use money without the hassle of carrying a great amount of cash in hand. In case the cards are stolen or lost, The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) provide the procedures to act upon.

How to Limit the Financial Loss

As soon as you discover that the ATM, debit or credit card is missing, contact the card issuer. Most of the companies have a 24-hour help service for such issues. Report your loss to the customer service representative and then follow up by writing a letter to the company including your account number and the date on which you reported the missing card.WOMAN_OnPhone-LostStolenCard

It may by helpful to check whether your homeowner’s insurance policy covers the card theft. If not, some insurance companies do allow you to change your policy to include this.

Credit Card Loss or Fraudulent Charges (FCBA):

In case you report about the missing card before it is used by someone else, the FCBA states that the card issuer cannot charge you for any unauthorized use. On the other hand, if the card has been used before you reported, the maximum charges laid against you can be $50 per card. If the card number has been used only, without the card itself, you cannot be held responsible for any charges.

Also, review the bills carefully that come after the card has been lost. If you find any unauthorized use, write a letter to the card issuer including all the questionable charges, your account number, and the date on which you reported the card missing. Send this letter to the billing complaints department rather than the billing department itself, and do not send any payments unless you are requested to do so.

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