Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Ramesh Pathania/Mint

DYK: What to do if your credit or debit card is lost or stolen

You should file a report with the police and lodge a first information report (FIR) and get an acknowledgement for the complaint

A situation that no credit or debit card user would like to see herself in is to lose it somewhere and have it misused. But with the number of number of card users in India growing significantly, the chances of card fraud is also on the rise. If you lose a card, you should immediately inform your bank about it and get it blocked. The liability fee on a lost or stolen card is typically payable on the expenses incurred during the period between the loss and your informing the bank. Most banks have a zero liability policy that comes as a feature in the card, and some will ask you to opt for it. What this means is that the card user does not have to pay anything against the expenses occurred during the period between the loss and you informing the bank. Here is a look at what process to follow if you lose your card.

PROCESS TO FOLLOW

If you have been a victim of card fraud, including theft or loss, according to a master circular by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Frauds—classification and reporting, it is the banks’ responsibility to provide protection against and fight frauds. If you lose your card or it gets stolen, you should first inform the bank and block it. After this, you will not be liable for any of the transactions that happen after it is blocked.

You should file a report with the police and lodge a first information report (FIR) and get an acknowledgement for the complaint. You will need to give a written application containing your bank debit or card number, and/or account number and the date of loss. You might also need to give a copy of the FIR in case there is an unauthorised transaction online. If the fraud happens outside India, you would also need to furnish a copy of your passport. The bank will reissue a card if the earlier one was lost, stolen or damaged, usually for around 100.

All banks have some sort of zero liability policy to protect cardholders, especially if card loss is reported within the stipulated time. This may vary depending upon the type of transaction and reporting deadlines. For example, Axis Bank Ltd gives a time of seven days to report a theft or loss of card. SBI Cards and Payments Services Pvt. Ltd’s website says it’s not liable for any transactions incurred on the card prior to the time of reporting of the loss of the card to it.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

Credit or debit card users need to take adequate precaution in case of loss or theft of their cards. Even though most of banks have the zero liability policy feature, it is better to enquire about this feature when taking a card. Also, if there is a dispute on the lost or stolen credit card, the onus is on the cardholder to prove it is not her fault. The bank or credit card issuer will refund or reverse the disputed transaction if the customer is able to prove her innocence but this may take time. If you see any suspicious activities via your lost card, report it to the bank immediately. Further, the disputed amount on your credit card can impact your credit score too, as the bank will report you as defaulter. The credit score will take 9-10 months to get back on track.

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