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Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards

Report loss or theft immediately

Acting fast limits your liability for charges you didn’t authorize. Report the loss or theft of your card to the card issuer as quickly as possible. Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service for such emergencies. Once you report the loss of your ATM or debit card, federal law says you cannot be held liable for unauthorized transfers that occur after that time.

  • Follow up with a letter or email. Include your account number, the date and time when you noticed your card was missing, and when you first reported the loss.
  • Check your card statement carefully for transactions you didn’t make. Report these transactions to the card issuer as quickly as possible. Be sure to send the letter to the address provided for billing errors.
  • Check if your homeowner's or renter’s insurance policy covers your liability for card thefts. If not, some insurance companies will allow you to change your policy to include this protection.

How to limit your losses

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) offer protection if your credit, ATM, or debit cards are lost or stolen.

Credit Card Loss or Fraudulent Charges

Under the FCBA, your liability for unauthorized use of your credit card tops out at $50. However, if you report the loss before your credit card is used, the FCBA says you are not responsible for any charges you didn’t authorize. If your credit card number is stolen, but not the card, you are not liable for unauthorized use.

ATM or Debit Card Loss or Fraudulent Transfers

If you report an ATM or debit card missing before someone uses it, the EFTA says you are not responsible for any unauthorized transactions. If someone uses your ATM or debit card before you report it lost or stolen, your liability depends on how quickly you report it.

Click the link below for more information from the FTC