Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Lose your ATM card? Don’t panic…here’s what you need to do. I’m Kristin Arnold with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

The loss or theft of an ATM card should be reported as quickly as possible. Most banks have a toll-free customer service phone number for this purpose.

It’s also a good idea to send a follow-up letter, with the account number and an explanation of when the loss was discovered and reported, Unauthorized withdrawals or transfers also should be reported as soon as possible.

A consumer’s potential liability due to a lost or stolen ATM card depends primarily on how soon the loss of the card is reported to the bank, according to the FTC.

  • If the loss is reported prior to any unauthorized activity, the potential liability is zero.
  • If the loss is reported within two business days of discovery, the potential liability is capped at $50.
  • After two business days, that amount increases to $500.
  • If the loss isn’t reported within 60 days after the bank sends out a statement, the consumer is responsible for all losses up to the balance of the account, plus the unused portion of any overdraft line of credit.

To learn more, just visit Bankrate.com. I’m Kristin Arnold.