What if you lose your debit - Motilal Oswal

What if you loose your debit / credit card?

Most of us travel extensively as part of business and holiday needs. We also move around extensively inside the same city each day. The places visited include malls, shopping centres, cabs, public transport etc. In this melee, your cards can very easy get lost or misplaced. It could happen in a variety of ways. You may have inserted your debit card inside an ATM and forgotten to collect it or it may have just gotten stuck inside the machine. Alternatively, you may have kept the card somewhere and are now unable to recollect where you kept the card. It also happens that in the course of your travel, your wallet may have fallen off without your knowledge. Worse still you may have been picked and more than the loss of cash, you are worried about what happens to your debit and credit cards. Don’t worry, there is a way out and you need to know the process clearly. Let us see what to do if you lose your debit card and what different you need to do if you lost your credit card.

Key steps to take when you realize that you have lost your credit/debit card

The first step is to call on the customer help support number or the customer helpline number and immediately report the loss of the card. Normally, you are required to authenticate yourself with the card number and the PIN before the card block request will be accepted. This card block is effectively immediately on information. Also, ensure that to provide for such situations, you have your credit card number written in a different place in a secure manner. The call centre card is normally on the back of your card hence always write down the number in another place as it helps when you have lost your card.

There is no need to panic if you are not able to register your card block call. A better way to do it is to access the website of your bank and block it online. It can happen in a matter of just a few seconds. If nothing works, you can just walk into the nearest branch of the bank where you are holding the credit or debit card and report it. In case of debit card, you can do the easiest thing by freezing your bank account so that the bank account becomes useless. Then you can get a new card issued after blocking the old card.

There is a limit on any liability on your card if you immediately report the loss of card and that is mentioned in your credit card / debit card agreement. That is why keeping a hard to guess PIN is very useful in such circumstances sine you can ensure that it is not hacked into.

Most credit losses will also require you to file a first information report (FIR) with the local police station where you have lost your card to maintain the loss as an official record. The credit card / debit card company will insist on a copy of the FIR before issuing a new card as it absolves them of any responsibility in case of any fraudulent transactions later on. You must do this FIR at the police station nearest to where you are suspected to have lost that card and not at your place of residence. This is a formality and it hardly takes 15-20 minutes of your time.

When you get your next statement, check if there have been any debits in the meanwhile or any transactions on your card. It is better to register for SMS as you will get an SMS alert for very transaction that you do on your card. This can reduce any chance of fraud. Also check with your credit card rules and regulations if there is any insurance against card theft or card loss. Normally, insurance companies provide cover against any misuse of card after it is reported. That way, you can reduce your damage if any to the bare minimum.

There are some additional things to remember. For example, when you dispose of old cards cut them into four pieces and dispose so that they cannot be misused by anyone. Ensure that the number and the PIN are defaced properly. That will only enhance your safety features.

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