Sunday, 28 May 2017

stolen or Lost ATM card? Don’t panic. Here’s what to do

Your ATM card… gone!

Ah, we all know that feeling. Terrifying is an understatement!
A friend’s debit card was once snatched along with his wallet. He initially delayed because it happened during a weekend and he thought “after all, the thief doesn’t  know my card’s PIN”.  
But a few hours later, he started getting debit alerts. Someone was withdrawing from his account. Before he could do anything, the daily withdrawal limit cash had been reached. The next day was a Sunday and the mystery withdrawals continued on his account till the daily limit was reached.
So how did the ATM card snatcher access his PIN? 

The answer is the ‘ATM Skimming’. ATM skimming is like
identity theft for debit cards. Thieves use hidden electronics to steal the personal information stored on your card and record your PIN number to access all that hard-earned cash in your account.

But back to you, what do you immediately your ATM card gets stolen?

What to do when you lose your ATM card

Once you notice an ATM card theft, the first thing that should come to your mind is “how do I contact my bank?” Locate the nearest branch of your bank and lodge a complaint to hotlist the ATM card immediately. You are allowed to hotlist your ATM card once you discover it’s missing. Hotlisting a card simply is blocking it for any use. It renders the card useless even if you recover it.

What to do when you lose your ATM card outside of bank opening hours

If the theft happened during an odd hour (weekends, 5pm – 8am), try contacting your bank via social media. Find the Twitter account of your bank and make your request. You are advised not to reveal your card details to the public. Usually, the bank follows back and requests this information via a Direct Message.
Before now, you have to walk into your bank to request for a card hotlist. Thankfully, most banks now allow you to do that via SMS. For example, GTBank allows you to do that by sending “Hotlist (NUBAN)” to 08076665555. i.e. HOTLIST 0123456789 to 08076665555. 

Note that you have to use a phone number associated with your account number to make this request.
For other banks, the easier way to do this is to place a phone call to the bank’s headquarters. Just look through their website for this.

Thereafter, feel free to walk into any of your bank’s branches to request for a new ATM card.

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