How to Report a Stolen Social Security Prepaid Debit Card

When a Social Security prepaid debit card is stolen, you can find yourself without funds at a crucial moment when you need to pay bills or purchase items such as food or medicine. Reporting the theft immediately will help to get the old card canceled and your balance quickly transferred to a new one. According to the Financial Management Service of the United States Department of the Treasury, reporting the theft immediately in most cases will also protect your card balance from unauthorized transactions. As of September 2011, Direct Express Payment Processing Services handles all card issues, including card theft.

Contact Direct Express Customer Service at 888-741-1115 within 48 hours of the card theft. In most instances, reporting it within two business days can reduce your liability in regards to the loss of money on the card. For example, as of September 2011, if a thief produces more than $50 in unauthorized transactions, you usually won’t lose more than $50 if you report the theft within two business days.

Answer all of the questions asked by the representative to provide details about the theft. If you have automatic bill payment set up on your account, make certain you tell the representative. The representative will open an investigation, cancel your old card and make a request for a new card to be sent to you in approximately 10 to 15 days. If you need access to your money sooner, ask the representative for overnight delivery.

Clarify any details you’re uncertain about with the representative and write down the amounts of any fees before ending the call. For example, you pay fees for overnight delivery or if this is your second replacement card in a calendar year. Once you report the theft, wait for your new card to arrive.

Tips

  • You may not lose money from unauthorized transactions in the following situations: your PIN wasn’t used, Direct Express believes you appropriately protected your card and PIN, you haven’t reported two or more thefts in the 12 months prior to the theft and your account has no negative events on it.

Warnings

  • Always check the Terms of Use for exceptions in your state regarding theft-related liability. For example, in many states, you can lose up to $500 if Direct Express proves that you didn’t protect your card and PIN, you gave someone your card and PIN to use or you didn’t report the theft within two business days. However, some states, such as California and New York, have different liability expectations.

    Always check with Direct Express regularly for updated fees and terms of use, as this information can change at any time.

References

About the Author

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.