If you’ve ever lost a debit card, you’re not alone: Almost one-third of all U.S. consumers have reported a debit or credit card missing, lost, or stolen according to a report by Mercator Advisory Group.
But what if you’re on vacation and your card goes missing? First of all … don’t panic. There are steps you can take right away, and this article will teach you how to limit your losses, regain your card privileges, and keep your finances safe with products like the SecureLOCK Equip™ app.
Take These Steps If Your Debit Card Goes Missing
The minute you realize you don’t have your Chambers Bank Debit Card, take a look around to see if you may have dropped it, misplaced it in your purse or wallet, or left it somewhere you just visited. Once you’ve ruled out these possibilities, it’s time to take quick action to make sure no one can grab your card. Follow these steps:
Freeze or cancel your Chambers Bank Debit Card.
As a Chambers Bank Debit Card holder, you have a couple of options for blocking access to your card depending on whether or not you use the SecureLOCK Equip app:
- If you lose your debit card and don’t have the SecurLOCK Equip app, call 1-800-500-1044 immediately to cancel your card.
- If you have the SecureLOCK Equip app, freeze your card by turning it off in the app. This gives you more time to search for your debit card. If you’re certain the card is missing or stolen, keep the freeze activated in the SecureLOCK Equip app and call 1-800-500-1044 to cancel your card.
As a reference, please bookmark the Chambers link Report a Lost or Stolen Card on your mobile device or laptop.
Check your account for unauthorized charges.
If you have secure access to Chambers Online Banking or Mobile Banking, check your account for charges you don’t recognize. Make note of anything suspicious and gather information on the date, location, and amount of each charge.
You can also contact our Customer Care Center at 1-800-603-1226 during regular business hours to check the account associated with your lost debit card. A representative will assist you in reviewing charges on your account.
Report your stolen or missing debit card to Chambers Bank.
To limit your liability from debit card theft or loss, the sooner you report your card missing, the better. Why? Because the amount of money you could lose from your associated bank account depends on how soon you notify us at Chambers Bank.
According to the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act, if you report your debit card missing or stolen before any unauthorized charges occur, you will not be financially responsible for any of those charges. By reporting it missing or stolen within two business days, your losses are limited to $50 for all unauthorized charges.
If you report the debit card missing or stolen within 60 calendar days of receiving your bank statement listing unauthorized charges, the amount you could owe changes to $500. If you notify us of the missing or stolen card after 60 calendar days of receiving your bank statement listing unauthorized charges, you could lose all funds in your account if the unauthorized charges are higher.
File a police report with the local jurisdiction
By filing a police report, you create a documentation stream that’s helpful in the event Chambers Bank needs to resolve a dispute over any fraudulent charges that may have occurred. You will also want a police report if you plan to make an identity theft filing with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Gather these details before filing a report:
- Your name and contact info
- The address of where you’re staying
- Amount, date, and type of loss
- Where you suspect the loss occurred
Once the report is complete, ask for a copy and make sure to get the contact information of the person who filed the report.
Order a replacement Chambers Bank Debit Card
After canceling your Chambers Bank Debit Card, you can order a new standard card by calling our Customer Care Center at 1-800-603-1226 during regular business hours; we will ship a card to the mailing address you have on file with us. If you want a custom debit card, order one online using the Custom Debit Card Designer. You can also stop by any branch location once you’re back home and get a new card.
Add a fraud alert to your credit reports
If your debit card is lost or stolen, placing a fraud alert on your credit report helps protect your credit from damage. Once you set the alert, lenders must contact you and verify your identity before any new credit approvals.
In case you’re worried about your credit score … a fraud alert on your credit report does not affect your credit score in any way. Additionally, you only have to contact one of the three major credit bureaus to have a fraud alert added. By law, the bureau you contact is required to notify the other two U.S. bureaus and they must then add alerts to your reports.
Here is contact information for all three major bureaus:
Online or call 800-525-6285
Online or call 1-888-397-3742
Online or call 800-680-7289
Once you contact a bureau, you can decide which of these alerts to add:
An initial fraud alert has a year-long term, and once it expires, the alert is removed from your reports automatically. You can always request another hold if you’d like more time.
An extended fraud alert has a seven-year term and you can only have this type placed on your reports if your identity has been stolen and you’ve filed an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission. The alert is removed automatically after seven years.
An active duty alert is for active members of the U.S. military. The alert has a year-long term and it will be removed from your reports automatically after one year. Your information is also removed from unsolicited credit and insurance offers for two years.
How to Lower Your Risk While Traveling With Your Debit Card
While you can’t protect yourself 100% from debit card theft, you can do many things to largely reduce your risk while traveling, including:
- Download the SecureLOCK Equip app. This mobile app gives you added control over how, when, and where your debit card is used and allows you to freeze the card if it’s lost or stolen. You can also use the app to set spending limits on your card, receive alerts on card use, and much more. The app is available for Apple and Android mobile devices and is free to use. When you're traveling, it’s a first line of defense against unauthorized debit card use. Download it today!
- Save information for all cards you travel with. Before you go on vacation, take photos of each card’s front and back and then store the images in a safe place on your phone. Make sure your phone is security-locked when not in use. In addition, save the customer service numbers (domestic and international) for all cards, either on your mobile device or on paper.
- Add the card to your phone’s digital wallet. Besides being more secure than a physical debit card, having your Chambers Bank Debit Card in your digital wallet is convenient, easy, and a contactless way to pay while on the go. Read this Chambers blog to learn more about how to add your debit card to your phone’s digital wallet.
Ready, Set, Pack!
Besides lining up your luggage, itinerary, and transportation, don’t leave home without a solid plan for your travel money. This means if your Chambers Bank Debit Card is missing or stolen, have other card options available and have an alternative way to get cash if you happen to lose all of your cards and cash.
Overall, by using the tips in this article and following safety precautions with your identity and finances, you can better ensure that your time off will be relaxing, fun, and worry-free.