ATM/Debit Cards

According to the Consumer Action Handbook:

Missing Card or Unauthorized Use: Contact the bank/card issuer immediately.  

• If you report a debit card missing before it is used, you are not responsible for any unauthorized withdrawals.

• Your liability is limited to $50 if you report the loss within two business days after you realize your debit card is missing. It increases to $500 if you report the loss between two and 60 days.

• If you have not reported an unauthorized use of a debit or ATM card within 60 days after the statement documenting the unauthorized use, you could lose all of the money in your bank account and the unused portion of your line of credit established for overdrafts.

• Sign up for text message or email alerts each time your debit card is used, so that you can know immediately if it has been used fraudulently. Check the policies of your card issuer; some offer more generous protections from fraud.


Banking Scams

Be awared of these common signs of banking scams:

  • Scammers create fake versions of your mobile banking app. to gain access to your account
  • Text messages that claim to be from your bank and request your banking account and pin
  • Fake lottery sweepstatkes check that look like legimate checks.

Take steps to protect yourself 

  • Verify from your bank the correct banking app you should use.
  • Never give your bank account number over email or phone.
  • Do not deposit checks from people or companies you do not know.

To file a complaint: 

Overdraft Protection and Bounced Checks

Overdrafts/Bounced Checks are when you try to cash a check or withdraw money that is greater than the amount of money that is in your account.

Overdraft Protection 

  • If you do not opt in to overdraft protection with your bank, they will decline the payment and not pay on your behalf, and no fee is charge.  
  • If you do opt in for overdraft transfer protection, your bank will transfer money from your savings or a free line of credit for a fee.  Your bank will pay for the transaction and each payment that is covered will charge you additional fees.  

For additional information on preventing and managing overdraft fees visit: 

Pre-Paid Credit Cards/Gift Cards

Prepaid credit cards are those that you add money to in oder to use at a future date. 

  • Prepaid cards are helpful if you don't have a bank account or a credit history. 
  • If you have a problem with a prepaid card, first contact the consumer service number. 
  • Some cards are issued by state or national banks

If the problem is not resolved, with the issuer, file a complaint with the proper authorities below:

Type of Institution Regulatory Agency
State-chartered banks and trust companiesFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation or state banking authorities 
Banks with National in their name or N.A. after their nameOffice of the Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. Department of the Treasury
Federal savings and loans and federal savings banksOffice of the Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. Department of the Treasury
Fedrally chartered credit unionsNational Credit Union Administration 
State-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve SystemFederal Reserve System

Gift Cards, a type of prepaid card

  • Funds on gift cards can't expire unless the terms of expiration are clearly disclosed.
  • If you don't use the card the money stored on it can be sent to the unclaimed money office in your state or where the card company resides 
  • To locate misisng money visit: