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What To Do in Case of a Lost or Stolen Wells Fargo Debit Card? A Step-By-Step Guide

Maria Marcano, Consumer Operations
Nov 1, 2023
 Min Read

A lost or stolen debit card puts you at risk of having your sensitive data misused by unauthorized third parties, leading to financial losses and emotional distress.

Luckily, you can minimize the consequences by reporting the loss or theft promptly. This article will explain what to do in case of a lost or stolen Wells Fargo debit card and also cover:

  • Consumer liabilities in case of loss, theft, or unauthorized use of your Wells Fargo debit card
  • Consequences of compromised financial data you should be aware of
  • Preventative measures you can take to protect your debit card from loss or theft

The information regarding Wells Fargo debit cards is current as of September 2023, the time of writing this article. You should contact the bank regularly to acquire the latest information.

What To Do When You Determine Your Wells Fargo Debit Card Has Been Lost or Stolen?

Source: Two Paddles Axe and Leatherwork

Once you notice that your Wells Fargo debit card is missing, you should do the following:

  1. Contact Wells Fargo Customer Service
  2. Request a replacement card
  3. Update the billing information for recurring payments

Contact Wells Fargo Customer Service

To avoid potential liabilities for unauthorized transactions, online purchases, and ATM withdrawals, you should contact customer support immediately to freeze your Wells Fargo debit card.

You can reach out to them using the following contact information:

Card Type Phone Number
Personal debit and ATM cards
Business debit or ATM cards
Private Bank Debit Cards 1-877-646-8560

Besides reporting the lost or stolen debit card, you should also report the loss or theft of any electronic devices that are linked to your Wells Fargo debit card.

Request a Replacement Card

The next step is to request a replacement card via the Wells Fargo Online® portal or Wells Fargo Mobile® app. You can also visit the dedicated ReplaceMyCard page to request a new card. The steps involved in this process are as follows:

  1. Visit one of the links mentioned above or open the Wells Fargo Online® app 
  2. Enter your username and password to sign in
  3. Choose the account linked to the lost debit card
  4. Click View More Services on the right-hand menu and choose Replace My Card
  5. Choose the lost or stolen card number option, select the reason for replacement, and hit Continue
  6. Review the shipping details, specify the delivery method, and click Confirm to submit the application

You can also request a replacement Wells Fargo debit card by calling the phone numbers listed above. The new card will typically arrive by mail within 5–7 calendar days.

Update the Billing Information for Recurring Payments

Once your Wells Fargo debit card is frozen, all subsequent charges to the card will be automatically declined. However, it is important to note that if you have set up recurring payments on your debit card, such as for bills and subscriptions, the declined charges may lead to late payment penalties. To avoid this, you must update the billing information as soon as you receive your replacement card. You can do so by:

  1. Signing into the linked accounts
  2. Navigating to the billing section
  3. Removing the lost/stolen card data
  4. Adding the replacement card details, i.e., card number, CVC, and expiration date

Wells Fargo Lost or Stolen Debit Card Consumer Liabilities


Since lost or stolen debit cards can lead to unauthorized use, most consumer debit card users are protected in case of fraudulent purchases by the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. The law implies a user’s liability for unauthorized purchases on a lost or stolen debit card. The table below offers additional liability details set forth by this law:

Reporting Time Liability
Before an unauthorized transaction takes place $0
Within 2 business days after discovering the loss or theft of a debit card Up to $50
More than two days after discovering the loss or theft of a debit card but less than 60 days after receiving a bank statement showing a fraudulent transaction has occurred Up to $500, regardless of how much money was stolen
After 60 business days of receiving a bank statement showing a fraudulent transaction on a debit card has taken place Potentially unlimited

Regardless of the law, most consumer debit card issuers have a zero-liability policy that states users are not responsible for any fraudulent charges on their lost or stolen debit cards. 

Wells Fargo offers similar protection to debit cardholders, waiving all liabilities if the loss or theft is reported within 60 days after receiving a bank statement showing a fraudulent transaction has taken place[1].

Tips for Protecting Your Debit Card and Bank Account Data


A lost or stolen debit card can cause a significant amount of stress, even when consumer protection is provided. The process of disputing fraudulent charges on your debit card can be long and tedious, which can leave quite an emotional toll on you. Even when you replace the compromised debit card, it is still advised to monitor your bank statements and ensure the unauthorized user hasn’t figured out a way to access your bank account (in case your bank closed the debit card but left the bank account open).

Preventing the physical loss or theft of your debit card does not necessarily imply that your funds are entirely safe. In 2023, card-not-present fraud accounted for 73% of the total card payment loss, proving that fraudsters have other means of stealing consumers’ financial information, such as phishing, public Wi-Fi hacks, or online data breaches

For this reason, you should employ various security measures to protect your card and bank account data from becoming compromised in the first place. You can learn more about some of these protection tactics in the following sections.

Enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) To Protect Your Bank Account

This safety feature enables you to secure your online accounts with an additional verification method besides a password, preventing hackers from accessing your bank account even if they figure out your login credentials.

Avoiding Public Wi-Fi Networks When Online Shopping

Hackers may use man-in-the-middle attacks to intercept and steal data traveling over public Wi-Fi, including the debit card number you use to pay for online transactions.

Shopping at Reliable Online Merchants

You should only shop at websites featuring a “https://” prefix in the URL, signifying a safe connection between your browser and the merchant’s website.

Using Virtual Cards

Virtual cards mask your real card and bank account information during online transactions, protecting it from getting stolen in case of an online data breach on merchants’ servers. Independent virtual card providers, such as Privacy, offer strong security and comprehensive control and customization options for a safe and seamless online shopping experience.

How Do Privacy Virtual Cards Ensure Safe Online Transactions?

Source: Artem Podrez

Each Privacy Virtual Card has a unique 16-digit card number, CVC code, and expiration date, and you can use it for online purchases as you would a regular debit card. While it is connected to your real debit card or bank account, it masks that information during online transactions. If a hacker manages to access the merchant’s server, they will only see your virtual card data, while your real card and bank details will remain confidential. 

You can generate two types of Privacy Virtual Cards:

  • Merchant-Locked Cards–lock to the first merchant you purchase at, ensuring that potential hackers can’t use them elsewhere. 
  • Single-Use Cards–close shortly after the first transaction, making them useless to potential hackers.

Privacy is PCI-DSS compliant and implements the same robust security measures as any reliable bank. The company holds a Better Business Bureau® (BBB) accreditation and commits to transparent business practices.

Privacy’s Additional Features for a Superb Online Shopping Experience 

Besides protecting your financial information, Privacy ensures seamless online transactions with the following features:

  • Customizable spending limits—You can set spending limits on each Privacy Card to prevent overcharging attempts from merchants and keep your budget under control.
  • Browser extension—Privacy browser extension for Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox accelerate checkout time during online purchases by autofilling your virtual card numbers in the checkout fields. If you want to checkout seamlessly on your iPhone and iPad, you can leverage the Safari extension for iOS devices.
  • Pausing/unpausing and closing virtual cards—You can pause or close Privacy Virtual Cards instantly without it affecting your real debit card and bank account. This feature is beneficial for preventing unwanted subscription charges as Privacy will decline them once you pause or close your virtual card.
  • Mobile app—Privacy’s Android and iOS app allows you to create and use virtual cards on the go. The push notifications can alert you whenever your virtual card has been used or declined, enabling you to track your account activity in real time.

How To Sign Up for Privacy

U.S. residents over the age of 18 with a checking account at a U.S. bank or credit union can sign up for Privacy Cards. Follow the steps below to get started: 

  1. Register
  2. Provide the mandatory Know-Your-Customer (KYC) details
  3. Add a funding source, i.e., a checking account or a debit card
  4. Request and generate your first Privacy Card

Privacy offers three pricing plans. The Personal plan is free for domestic use and offers up to 12 new virtual cards a month, spending limits, the closing/pausing virtual cards feature, and access to mobile apps. 

The Pro and Premium plans feature additional benefits such as:

  • Up to 36 and 60 virtual cards per month, respectively
  • 1% cashback on eligible purchases totaling up to $4,500 per month
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Discreet merchants, i.e., the ability to mask your transaction information on your bank statements
  • Priority support (Premium)


[1] Wells Fargo,, sourced on September, 2023
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Checkout securely online by creating unique virtual card numbers for every purchase. Avoid data breaches, unwanted charges, and stolen credit card numbers.
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Privacy virtual cards
Spending Limits

Set a spending limit, and Privacy will block all charges that go over the limit

Merchant-Locked Cards

Lock your Privacy card to one merchant you frequently shop from

Single-Use Cards

Secure your one-time payments to websites whose trust worthiness you're unsure of

Pause/Close Cards

By pausing or closing a card, Privacy will block all future transactions

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Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
Checkout securely online by creating unique virtual card numbers for every purchase. Avoid data breaches, unwanted charges, and stolen credit card numbers.
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