Always Verify the Correct Address
She knew she needed to inform the bank and have them cancel the card, but first called us to verify what steps she should take. My husband explained to her that the $1.00 charges were made by the thief to determine the validity of the account. She then immediately called the bank, using the number on the back of her card. The bank put a stop on the card and she will not be responsible for the charges she did not make. The bank told her she would receive a new card in the mail in a few days.
Unfortunately, none of us thought about the fact that it is our home address that is listed on my daughter's bank account, not her college address. The card arrived as promised - but to our house which is several states away from where my daughter lives. Oops! This created a further delay in my daughter being able to resume the use of her debit card.
There were several lessons in this incident.
- Check your bank statement frequently for charges you have not made.
- In case a card becomes compromised when your kids cannot reach you, be sure they understand the process of how to cancel a card.
- When someone is going to mail you something, always verify that they have the correct address!
- Everyone - including kids at college - should have a means for payment besides their debit card, in case the card becomes compromised, lost or stolen. Fortunately, my daughter can write checks from her account. It is always a good idea to always keep a little cash on hand as well.
- When a credit card is compromised, it is common to feel flustered and pressed to take immediate action to cancel the card and have the charges removed. While this is true - take a breath and be sure to pay attention to all the details involved!
What other advice would you offer to a person who has had their credit or debit card used by someone else?