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Published on November 11, 2013 | Updated on April 22, 2015
We all know the feeling of doom that comes with losing something valuable. At some point in your life, you probably
will lose a wallet, purse, credit card or debit card. When it happens, you’ll want to be prepared. If it has already happened, read quick and act fast. Here’s what you should do and what will happen if your credit, debit or ATM card is stolen.
As soon as you notice your card is gone, report the loss to your credit card company. Don’t wait. It’s vital you limit the time a thief or malicious finder has to commit fraud.
Fortunately, the federal government has instituted a number of protections to safeguard consumers against fraudsters and thieves. Credit cards are the most fortified. If you report the loss before the card is used, you will not be held responsible for any nefarious activity. If you don’t report the loss until after fraud is committed, you will pay no more than $50. If your card number is stolen but the physical card remains in your possession, you won’t have to pay a cent.
Debit and ATM cards are a different story. They still come with substantial consumer protections, but there is a tiered repayment cap system that varies based on when you report. It works like this: