If your debit or credit card is lost or stolen you should contact your bank or card provider immediately. They will list it as lost or stolen and cancel the card. Transactions will no longer be authorised, meaning the card can no longer be used. In India this process is commonly known as "hotlisting" a card. It's important to hotlist a card as soon as you realise it is missing in order to minimise the risk of fraudulent transactions.
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Contacting your bank
You should contact your bank as soon as you notice your card is missing. Most banks have a 24-hour number you can call to report lost or stolen cards and this can usually be found on your monthly statement or the bank's website. You may also be able to report the loss personally in a branch or via your online banking system. Visa and Mastercard also have global assistance numbers that you can usually contact for free if you lose your card abroad. You will be asked a few security questions to confirm your identity and your card will then be frozen. You will also be sent or given a form to sign, confirming that you have reported the card as missing.
Liabilities and cover for fraudulent use
In the UK you are only liable for a maximum of £50 if someone fraudulently uses your card before you report it missing, according to Which? This does not apply if it can be shown that you were involved in the fraud or that you failed to take reasonable steps to keep your PIN safe. You will not be liable for any further transactions that take place after you have reported the card missing.
If you find your card
You should report your card as lost or stolen even if you suspect you have just misplaced it in the house. If you don't know where your card is it is better to be safe than sorry. If you find your card after hotlisting it you will not be able to use or reactivate it. The card should be destroyed by cutting it up with a pair of scissors.
Getting a replacement card
When you inform your bank of your missing card they will usually send you a replacement automatically. This may take 24 hours or longer. Remember that payments can no longer be made with your old card. If you have any regular online payments set up with your debit card you will need to change the details. This will not affect direct debits, which are made straight from your bank account without using a debit card.
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