You’ve Lost Your Debit Card. Now What?

Completing a payment at a store

That dreaded feeling: You can’t find your debit card. Did you leave it at a restaurant? Did it fall when you were pumping gas, or when you were picking up your coffee order? Was it stolen?

Your biggest fear right now is that your card fell into the wrong hands, and that someone will drain your bank account. While it’s easy to panic, it’s also easy (and way more effective) to follow these four steps as soon as you realize your card is missing.

Missing Debit Card Step # 1: Freeze

Not literally (though it might be tempting, given the circumstances) – we’re talking about freezing your account. Try to skip the panic step and go right to the freezing step. The sooner you are able to stop someone else from using your card, the better your chances are of coming out of this situation with your money untouched.

While calling your bank or going into a branch are both options for freezing your account, the ability to put a lock on your funds could be right at your fingertips. Many mobile banking apps now allow you to go into your account and mark it as froze. At Sunrise Banks, you can easily lock your card with CardValet.

This is a quick and effective step to take as it prevents unauthorized charges, while also allowing you to easily unfreeze – or unlock – your card if you end up finding it.

Missing Debit Card Step # 2: Report

After you’ve frozen your account, you then call the restaurant and the coffee shop, drive by the gas station and search your car. You’re now pretty certain your card is gone, so it’s time to notify your bank.

Again, this can be done over the phone or by physically going into a branch location. The bank will deactivate your old debit card and send a new one out to you–probably within 7-10 days. It’s also a good idea to document any information or confirmation numbers the bank provides in order to easily keep track of the status of your account and cards.

Missing Debit Card Step # 3: Check in

On top of going through the process of ensuring no future unauthorized purchases are made, it’s also important that you check to see if someone has already used your card. If you’re on the phone with your bank or in person at a branch, this is easy information for the representative to provide to you. If you’re set up for mobile banking, you can access the list of recent transactions on your account in minutes.

Don’t only be on the lookout for large transactions, however. It’s common for scammers to start out by making small purchases to test the waters before moving on to more fruitful endeavors. If you do find fraudulent charges, make note of the details (where, when, amount, etc.) and communicate this information to your bank. Unauthorized transactions may also be reported via mobile banking.

Missing Debit Card Step # 4: Follow Up

Continue to monitor your account for several days to determine if your card landed in the wrong hands. Catching any fraudulent charges as soon as they happen can help increase your chances of securing your finances.

In addition to following up on your account, it’s also a good move to follow up with your bank. Submitting written documentation – in the form of a letter or an email (either of which you should keep a copy of for your records) – will help you if any legal action has to be taken and to keep track of the status of your account.

Keep Your Finances Safe with Sunrise

At Sunrise Banks, we offer fraud monitoring and protection services to help keep your funds secure. We provide 24/7 card monitoring, the ability to lock and unlock cards as necessary and an online transaction dispute resolution tool. We can take an uncertain situation and turn it into one that’s less stressful and able to be resolved quickly.

You can also receive a new card at a Sunrise Banks branch location. Our team can offer instant issue and get a new card in your hands immediately.

If you are concerned about the safety of your accounts, notify us as soon as possible. Visit our website for specific instructions and contact information for reporting a lost card, and to learn more about our protective services.