People are often very emotional when it comes to money, and losing any aspect of our hard-earned wealth is often cause for panic. This same feeling of uneasiness also applies when your wallet and all your cards are lost or stolen. When your credit cards and other bank cards are lost or stolen, you now to contact your financial institution to freeze them so they can’t be used. This same rule applies to your prepaid card. So, what should you do when you lose your prepaid card?
The moment you realise your prepaid card is lost is the time you should call the card issuer. You should do this without delay as the card issuer will only protect your funds if you act fast. If you wait too long, you may be responsible for any unauthorised purchases as well as the charges that apply to these purchases. Keep in mind that not all prepaid card issuers offer any protection against theft or fraud, so check with your provider.
Is my Prepaid Card Protected?
Your prepaid card is protected from anyone else using it for unauthorised activity – but only from the moment you report it as lost or stolen. That is why you must report your card as lost as soon as you realise it is missing. Most providers have a 24-hour emergency line, so don’t delay.
Do Prepaid Card Providers Protect Against all Unauthorised Activity?
Visa and Mastercard offer complete protection for all their cardholders in the event of prepaid cards being used fraudulently. There are some limitations, though. If someone withdraws cash from your card using your PIN, you will not be covered. The same would apply to in-store purchases if the transaction was completed using your PIN.
Never keep your PIN near your card, as this is no different from leaving your front door open when you go on vacation or leaving your car keys in the ignition. If you do have trouble remembering your PIN, keep it in a secret place in your home. If you can’t remember it when you need it, you can always call a family member to retrieve it for you in an emergency.
What Happens Once I Report my Prepaid Card as Lost or Stolen?
Once you have reported your prepaid card as lost or stolen, your card issuer will block your card, preventing any further transactions. You can then order a replacement card. This may take a few days to reach you, but the good news is that the remaining balance from your lost card will be automatically transferred to your new card.
Minimise Your Risk
The best way to minimise the risk of being taken to the cleaners by a card thief is to keep the balance on your prepaid card to a minimum. Most of us have the bad habit of keeping all of our credit, debit and prepaid cards in our wallets, and we take them with us everywhere. You can usually transfer additional funds to your prepaid card in a matter of seconds via online transfers, so only carry this card with you and top it up as needed.