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Author: PSUEngineerFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308674  
Subject: Re: Debit cards: What's the point? Date: 6/26/1998 1:14 PM
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Tony (TMF2Aruba) says:

You make some good points, but there really is no difference as far as fraud. If someone were to get a hold of the card, you're liable only for the first $50, and that's only if you don't report it within a certain amount of time.


Actually, this is not currently a true statement in terms of actual law. Mastercard and Visa are voluntarily limiting liability to $50.


Quoting from the Federal Trade Commission:

If your credit card is lost or stolen, you can't lose more than $50. If someone uses your ATM or EFT card without your permission, you can lose much more.

If you report an ATM or EFT card missing before it is used without your permission, the EFT Act says the card issuer cannot hold you responsible for any unauthorized withdrawals. If unauthorized use occurs before you report it, the amount you can be held responsible for depends upon how quickly you report the loss to the card issuer. If you report the loss within two business days after you realize your card is missing, you will not be responsible for more than $50 for unauthorized use.

However, if you do not report the loss within two business days after you realize the card is missing, but you do report its loss within 60 days after your statement is mailed to you, you could lose as much as $500 because of an unauthorized withdrawal. And, if you do not report an unauthorized transfer or withdrawal within 60 days after your statement is mailed to you, you risk unlimited loss. That means you could lose all the money in your account and the unused portion of your maximum line of credit established for overdrafts.

The link for this information is http://www.ftc.gov/WWW/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/elbank.htm

Currently, several Legislators are trying to amend the Electronic Funds Transfer Act to limit liability to $50 for debit cards.
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