Question of the Day (Update): How quickly do you need to report a stolen debit card to get all your money back?

May 25, 2021
Question of the Day, Checking Accounts

Answer from Federal Trade Commission: Before any unauthorized charges are made.


  1. Do you know anyone who has had their debit card stolen? What happened?
  2. Since there is a thriving market in cloned debit cards, what can you do to protect yourself if your account is hacked?
  3. If you don't tell the bank about your card being stolen and your account is drained, is the bank required to pay you back after 60 days after your monthly statement is mailed to you?

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (Magnify Money):

To protect yourself against debit card fraud, you should do the following:

  • Only use an ATM inside a bank (this will lessen the likelihood that a scanner is on an ATM)
  • Cover your hand when you type your pin into an ATM (to protect yourself against any devices attached to the ATM from getting your PIN)
  • Set up text alerts for each transaction over $0.01 on your card. This way you’ll be immediately alerted if a bogus charge is made
  • Monitor your bank on a regular basis (so you can give notice of fraud immediately)
  • Report stolen funds immediately (so you’re not responsible for the charges)
  • Check-in annually with your bank as to the policies regarding debit card theft (know whether your debit card is specifically protected and to what extent)


To learn more about debit card cloning, check out the article on investopedia.


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About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.