An ATM card (be it a Mastercard, Visa, or Verve card) is far beyond just an ordinary card made out of plastic or metal. Your cards are actually your money, and when you have this in mind you will render extra attention and care to it. Little wonder most people go into panic mode when their ATM cards get missing or stolen. In this article, I will be showing you 5 things you need to do once your ATM card gets stolen.
When someone’s ATM card gets missing, it is understandable for such a fellow to go into panic mode because there is a risk of losing some or all of the money in the account connected to the card. It is very important for you to act swiftly to avoid this risk. If you know anyone who has lost his or her ATM card recently, just tell him or her to do these things listed below.
5 Things You Should Do When Your ATM Card Gets Stolen
There are important measures you should take when your ATM card gets stolen or missing. Even if you are not sure the card was stolen, but it has been missing for days and you cannot ascertain where it is, it wise for you to take preventive actions immediately. The delay period is more than enough time for thieves to empty your account from whatever funds you have in it.
Below are 5 actions you should take immediately.
Check Your Transaction History
Once you notice your ATM card is nowhere to be found, the first thing you should do is to check your account transaction history. You can do this either through your bank’s website, internet banking platform, or through your mobile banking app. The reason for checking your account history is to make sure that no fraudulent or unusual transactions have taken place since the period the card went missing.
If there are transactions you do not recognize or authorize, kindly note them down on a paper or jotter. Take note of the amount withdrawn, transaction details, location, and time the transaction was made. No matter how small the transaction amount is, note it down. The reason is that the card thieves usually perform small amounts of transactions on stolen cards, as they want to test the validity of the card before they proceed to bigger transactions.
To prevent your hard earned money from being wiped completely from your account via your ATM card by some thieves, proceed to step 2.
Contact Your Bank
After you have checked your account history, the next thing you should do is to contact your bank, card company, or the financial institution that issues the card to you. If you notice any strange transaction after following the first step, you should notify the customer care representative of such transaction and insist the card should be permanently blocked.
If on the other hand, no transaction has been made on the card since it got stolen or missing, you can order your bank to place a temporary block or freeze the card. If you eventually find your card, you can call your bank again to reverse the temporary ban and reactivate the card.
NOTE: Not all banks offer the “temporary card block” service though. In such cases, you should permanently block the card. The bank will most likely issue you a new card immediately for free or for a small fee.
A consumer’s potential liability due to a lost or stolen ATM card depends primarily on how soon the loss of the card is reported to the bank.
When you notice your card has been stolen, do not wait for a second longer before contacting your bank. This is because you are responsible for whatever changes made to your account before you report a stolen card. If there are still charges made to your card after reporting it stolen or missing, the bank will be responsible for such charges.
Manually Block the card
If efforts get through your bank prove negative, you can manually block the card by yourself. Many banks have features in their apps that allow users to manually block and unblock their debit or credit cards. The provision is normally found in the card management section of the bank app.
If you have multiple cards connected to your account, select the card you want to block and block it. Should you find your card later, you can follow the same process to unblock it. If after blocking your card via this method and you notice any fraudulent transactions, please contact your bank.
Cancel Automatic/Recurring Payments
Once you contact your bank to block your card or perhaps you have requested a new card, the next step is to notify companies that automatically charge your stolen card for recurring payments like electricity bills, saving apps, TV subscriptions,s, etc. You should inform such companies of the status of your card as well as provide a new payment method to avoid a halt in services being provided.
Implement New Safety Measures
To prevent your card from being stolen again when you get a new one, there are some safety measures you would want to implement. First, you should be more careful with your wallet and generally maintain a closer watch on your physical card. Also, you should use electronic wallets in lieu of carrying your cards everywhere you go as it decreases the chances of losing your cards to thieves.
Electronic wallets (eWallets) such as Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay are digital payment platforms that let you store your card details in the cloud and complete purchases through an app. There are merchants that accept payment through these e-Wallet platforms. So in place of swiping your cards at the store, you can simply pay for goods by scanning a barcode. Using mobile money or paying for services by transferring funds to the merchant’s account directly from your bank app is also a safer option.
The point is to carry your card only when necessary. Say you want to withdraw cash at an ATM stand. Interestingly, many banks now offer careless withdrawal at their ATMs. So you really do not need to have your card on you at all times. Additionally, do not write your card PIN on the back of your card. Likewise, do not store it in your online wallet or anywhere at all. Your PIN should be in your head; a combination of numbers you can remember by heart. Keep your PIN private.
In conclusion if there were any fraudulent charges you noticed in your account the period your ATM card got stolen, ensure you follow-up with your bank (via phone call or email) on how and when the charges will be reimbursed to your account