We had a fun and busy weekend. We went to celebrate family friends’ 30th anniversary. All in all it went well, but while driving up, we hit a snag. We’re about an hour and a half from our destination and decided to take a quick break and grab a snack. I ask my husband to pass me my purse, but he didn’t see it. After looking around for 10 minutes, we realize it’s not with us!

Report your debit card as soon as you realize it's missing or stolen.

Report your debit card as soon as you realize it's missing or stolen.

Reporting My Missing Debit Cards

I was 99% sure it was still inside the apartment, but I didn’t want to take a chance for that 1%.  I immediately called the banks to freeze my cards until I can either verify they are at the apartment or stolen. I called Wachovia first. I was on hold hold a quite a bit, but when I did get my customer service representative, she was sweet. I explained my situation and she placed a hold/freeze on my debit card.

I then called ING Direct to do the same thing. They told me that was not possible and besides calling in every day to check, I could have a new one sent to me in approximately 5 business days. Since this was a short trip (2 days), I decided not to get a new card.

Liability for Debit Cards

The Federal Trade Commission(1-877-FTC-HELP) notes that credit card liability is $50, but it can be more for debit card, depending on how quickly you report it stolen.

…if you report the loss within two business days after you realize your card is missing, you will not be responsible for more than $50 for unauthorized use. However, if you don’t report the loss within two business days after you discover the loss, you could lose up to $500 because of an unauthorized transfer. You also risk unlimited loss if you fail to report an unauthorized transfer within 60 days after your bank statement containing unauthorized use is mailed to you.

I think most people will fall in the first or second category.  I can’t imagine too many people waiting more than 60 days, unless they are overseas and left their debit card at home.

Found my Purse!

I came home and it was right on the counter in the kitchen. Relieved, I called my bank to take the hold off my check card. I didn’t have to wait long (3 minutes) and my customer service representative was pleasant. He told me that they need to verify my identity before unfreezing the card. I went ahead and answered their security questions.

Unfreezing the Hold with Security Questions

The security questions were from my credit report. I found a couple questions bad to ask such as the birth month of a person since both my father and brother share the same first and last name. Which do I pick? It also had an incorrect address listed, but since I knew of this mistake, I have the the ‘right’ answer.

After verifying who I was and unfreezing my check card, the customer service representative asked if I wanted a Wachovia credit card. I politely declined, so he thanked me for being a customer.

Have you lost or had your check card stolen? Did your bank or credit union work with you?

Photo Credit: liewcf

Laura Martinez
Laura Martinez