Losing one’s ATM card—or even a credit card—opens one up to a lot of unpleasant circumstances. Particularly in the Philippines, where banks are within their legal rights to hold a cardholder liable if their credit card is stolen and used by someone else. Of course, the best way to avoid this is by making sure your ATM card is never stolen; something that is extremely hard to do, considering the extremely high number of pickpockets and thieves that make their living, preying upon the savings accounts of their hapless victims.
How to cope with a lost ATM or credit card in the Philippines
When the unfortunate and the sometimes unavoidable does happen, try your very best to remain calm and follow the logical steps in dealing with a lost and stolen credit card:
Contact Your ATM Card Issuer
This is the first step to ensure that an unauthorized person does not use your ATM card. The moment you realize your credit card is missing, contact your bank immediately and report the incident. There are going to be fees and charges that go with this, but reporting the theft or loss of your credit card as soon as possible would prevent anyone else who has your credit card from using it, as well as get the ball rolling in processing a replacement card for you. It would also be a good idea to have the PIN changed.
If your ATM card is stolen, it’s likely that the person who stole it is aware of your PIN. Being able to change it quickly would prevent that person from accessing your savings account.
Inform the Necessary People
If you have a joint account, or other people authorized to use the card or extensions in the case of credit card, it would be best to let them know right away, particularly if you had contacted your credit card issuer to have the card cancelled. It’s important that these people are informed about the fact that the card may be replaced.
Review Your Transactions
It would also be wise to track your credit card usage prior to the card’s disappearance or theft. This would help you set proper expectations about how much you are most likely to pay and which charges on your statement are actually made by you.
Losing an ATM or credit card, or having one stolen, is a hell of a hassle, especially in the Philippines. Let’s face it, a vast majority of cases of thefts that occur in the country go unsolved, and the lost and replacement card fees, while not really that expensive, at the very least, are an annoyance.
Avoid the inconvenience by taking every step possible to prevent it from happening again. Always keep your card in a constantly secure place to avoid losing it, and take extra care when in public to avoid being the victim of thieves. Take the incident as a lesson and learn from it.
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Losing an ATM or credit card that has access to your savings account is not an ideal situation. Having them stolen is far worse. But these things do happen, and when they do, it’s best to remain calm and start protecting yourself. Cooler heads, as well as extra care, will always prevail.