Safety tips for ATM cards
- Choose a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that's not your phone number, Social Security Number or the numbers in your birthday.
- Memorize your PIN and don't write it on anything in your wallet. In a third of all ATM card frauds, thePIN was on the card or in the wallet.
- Never put your PIN on a deposit slip, envelope or postcard.
- Check all ATM receipts against bank statements.
- Never lend your cards to anyone or leave cards and receipts lying around the house.
Timing is everything
If someone steals your ATM card and uses it, you could be responsible for up to $500 or more. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) says the amount you're responsible for depends on when you report the loss.
- If you report the card missing before it's used, you're not responsible for any unauthorized withdrawals.
- If you call within two business days of unauthorized use, the most you'll be responsible for is $50. Beyond that time period, you could be responsible for up to $500.
- If you don't report any unauthorized use within 60 days of the bank statement mailing, you face unlimited losses from your checking, your overdraft credit line, and any other linked account.
Keep checking your statements
Even after you have reported your ATM or credit cards missing, check your statements online frequently to monitor for any fraudulent transactions more quickly. If you find any suspicious charges, send a letter to your bank listing each one. Include account number, date stolen and date reported.
A card registration service notifies all card companies and banks when your cards are lost or stolen. It's the only call you need to make to report a loss. Most services will order cards for you as well. Compare services and check that you'll be reimbursed if they don't report the card loss promptly.