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Laws Protecting ATM Users
If you believe there's an accounting error involving an ATM transaction: The federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) offers protections, especially if you contact your financial institution within 60 days after the statement containing the problem was sent. Your institution also must promptly investigate the matter.
If your ATM card is lost or stolen and is being used by a thief: Notify your financial institution within two business days after learning that your ATM or debit card has been lost or stolen and the EFTA limits your losses to $50 or the amount of the unauthorized transfers, whichever is less. If you wait more than two business days to report a lost or stolen ATM or debit card, you could be liable for losses up to $500. And if you wait more than 60 days after receiving a bank statement that includes an unauthorized transfer for example, a withdrawal made with a counterfeit card the law doesn't require your bank to reimburse you for any losses due to unauthorized transfers made after the 60-day period. After you notify your bank about a lost or stolen card, under most circumstances you will limit your liability for unauthorized transactions from that point on.
Rights to information: The EFTA also requires that you be told about ATM fees and other matters regarding transactions. Also, any ATM owner that imposes a surcharge for using its machine must disclose the amount of the fee and allow the user to cancel the transaction.
Note: Some states may have greater consumer protections than those under the EFTA.
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