New Hampshire Department of Justice
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Consumer Sourcebook

Preface | User's Guide | Table of Contents | Print Sourcebook Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol

Extra Note: Debit (ATM) Cards

Automated teller machines allow you to withdraw cash and make deposits without having to talk to a bank teller or write a check. You can also use a debit card to pay bills, buy groceries and buy other things. The transaction is immediate: the money is electronically transferred between your account and the recipient's account.

Guard your debit card and your personal identification number (PIN) with care since the card and the PIN can give others direct access to your bank account.

Do not write your PIN any place where it can be observed or stolen. If you are able to choose your own PIN, pick a number you can easily remember but is not obvious. DO NOT choose your social security number, birth date or telephone number.

Never walk away from an ATM machine without either completing or canceling your transaction.

Never allow another person to have access to your card or PIN.

Limit the funds that are accessible with your ATM card.

If your debit card is lost or stolen, federal law gives you some protection against unauthorized use. You need to IMMEDIATELY notify the bank of your loss, since the longer you wait, the greater your liability is for unauthorized withdrawals from your account.

  • If you notify the bank within two business days of the loss of your card, you are liable for a maximum of only $50 in unauthorized use of your account.
  • If you notify the bank between three and sixty days after your loss, your liability increases to $500 in unauthorized use.
  • After 60 days, you are responsible for all unauthorized withdrawals made on your account with your lost debit card.

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New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658