Lost a credit or a debit card? The first step is — calm down and breathe easy.
If you are convinced that you haven’t misplaced it but lost it, here’s what you can do to avoid any possibility of card fraud, which is on the rise.
- Your first step is to inform the bank and get the card blocked. Once this is done, you will not be liable for any of the transactions that happen.
- As per the Frauds Circular of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), once you report the theft or loss of a card, it is the banks’ responsibility to protect you against frauds. This will ensure that you don’t have to pay the amount if your card has been misused.
- Most credit card issuers have some kind of zero-liability policy in place to protect the interests of the cardholders that covers fraudulent transactions incurred on the card from the reported time of loss. There is often a stipulated time, so ensure that you report it at the earliest.
- Read the policies carefully when you are being issued a debit/credit card because if the bank refuses to take responsibility and says they are not liable to restore any transaction that happened before the loss was reported, the onus lies on you, as the cardholder to prove it was not your fault.
- If you successfully prove it, the bank or credit card issuer will refund or reverse the disputed transaction. But these processes take time and vary according to the service provider.
- Tip: Always stay alert if you sense suspicious activities on your lost card. Don’t lose time and immediately report it to the bank.
- File a First Information Report (FIR) at the police station and get a copy. This will serve as an acknowledgement which you can submit to the bank. When you write the application letter, mention details about your lost/stolen debit or credit card number, and/or account number and the date you lost it.
- The copy of the FIR comes handy if any unauthorised online transaction is made. If the fraud has happened outside the country, you will have to render a copy of your passport while reporting the loss.
- In such cases where your card is lost, stolen or damaged, your bank will re-issue a new card for you for a small fee. Some banks charge Rs 100 for this.
Be vigilant and act quickly when you lose a credit/debit card. Read here about what one of our writers did to retrieve her lost debit card.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)