What Should I do About a Lost Debit Card?

Tiffany Manley
Tiffany Manley
A debit card.
A debit card.

Many people enjoy the convenience of debit cards over checks. Unfortunately, the cards get lost sometimes, and it is important to know what steps to take when this happens. If you find that you have a lost debit card, notify your bank immediately. The bank will be able to cancel the card and the card number, which usually prevents anyone from using it. You also should watch your account for fraudulent charges, notify your bank of any fraudulent charges and possibly close any affected accounts.

Several jurisdictions have laws protecting consumers when their cards are lost, but it is important to note that time is of the essence. A lost debit card should be reported immediately after you have discovered that it is missing. The longer you wait to file a report with your bank, the more you might be financially responsible for any charges if someone obtains your card or card number and tries to make purchases. It might be a good idea to notify the bank about the lost debit card by telephone and via a written letter.

After you have discovered that you have a lost debit card and have reported it to your bank, you should begin monitoring your bank account and bank statements. This will allow you to catch any fraudulent charges and report them to your bank immediately. The bank might have you fill out a form detailing the charge and asking you to provide any proof to show that you are not responsible for the charge. Again, even if you are not asked to, it might be best to notify the bank via telephone and a letter.

Many people feel that it is a good idea to close all accounts associated with the lost debit card. If you have a line of credit or savings account that is associated with the checking account in question, someone who has picked up your lost debit card or obtained your debit card number might be able to empty any of these accounts. One way to ensure that this does not happen is to close all accounts and reopen them. Even if it appears that nobody has taken your lost debit card, this practice might be a good idea and might act as an extra safeguard against losing your money. This process might be a hassle, but it can provide a bit more peace of mind if you know that someone will not be able to empty your accounts.

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    • A debit card.
      A debit card.