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Last week I visited Turkey. I came to a hotel my traveling agent has reserved a month before, but the reception officer didn't let me in because he said my voucher was cancelled. After an hour of arguments, I talked with the manager on the phone, and he agreed to give me a room for the night, but insisted that I pay 50 Euros by my visa debit card as deposit, until he arrives tomorrow morning and checks the voucher himself.

The next morning, the manager indeed came and checked the voucher and verified that it is OK. So he said he will return the 50 Euros to me through my debit card. I am used to the habit of giving a refund to the same card used to pay in the first place, so I agreed to give him my debit card. But before I knew it, he took a photocopy of it from both sides.

Now, the 50 Euros (that haven't been refunded to me yet) are my least concern. I am more concerned of the fact that the manager now holds a photocopy of my debit card, which he (or any of the reception officers) can use to pay in online stores.

I thought of canceling the card, but this is costly. Is there another solution?

  • Maybe the best is just to call Visa and explain the situation and see if their fraud protection is still valid? Maybe they can just replace the card. Where I'm from this is a free service from Visa. – Karl May 10 '15 at 6:36
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    If possible, I would disable online payment on the card, immediately (reduce the limit of online payment to zero). I think you should also demand the photocopy back, immediately. It is tad confrontational, and maybe he did get it without any ill will, but even in this case, he should be made aware of the fact that this is wrong. Then you should call or e-mail the card company (and/or your bank) and tell them what happened. I think they would consider the card stolen and maybe advise you on what you should do next. – tomasz May 10 '15 at 11:22
  • Note that if he uses the card, you might (and should) try to chargeback the money (through the card company), but it might be argued that you did not sufficiently protect the details of your card. And even if you succeed, the process can be long and you will not have access to your money in the meantime (this is one of the downsides of a debit card vs credit card...). You may also consider moving away the money from the associated bank account (so that there's not much to steal). – tomasz May 10 '15 at 11:25
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Honestly, if you're going to restrict the online payment on your card over this, you may as well just restrict it permanently.

Because this is definitely not the only time anyone has had an opportunity to retrieve the information on your card. There isn't really that much information on there - anyone taking more than a cursory look could in theory remember it and use it. We're talking waiters and checkout chicks, anytime you've given your card to anyone really.

Banks know this. Credit card numbers are not really secure. They factor this in. And they have software for fraud detection - looking at large or unusual transactions and transactions in foreign countries etc.

Of course it's not fool proof, but the best thing you can do isn't to cripple your card, but just be a little bit more diligent about checking your statements, making sure the transactions make sense. Some banks also allow you to set up an alert system so anytime any transactions occur you are notified immediately.

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If possible, I would disable online payment on the card, immediately (reduce the limit of online payment to zero).

I think you should also demand the photocopy back, immediately. It is tad confrontational, and maybe he did get it without any ill will, but even in this case, he should be made aware of the fact that this is wrong. Note that if he genuinely did it with ill will, he will have likely made multiple copies (who knows how many), so it will not really protect you from fraud (in this case).

Then you should call or e-mail the card company (and/or your bank) and tell them what happened. I think they would consider the card stolen and maybe advise you on what you should do next.

Note that if he uses the card, you might (and should) try to chargeback the money (through the card company), but it might be argued that you did not sufficiently protect the details of your card. And even if you succeed, the process can be long and you will not have access to your money in the meantime (this is one of the downsides of a debit card vs credit card...).

You may also consider moving away the money from the associated bank account (so that there's not much to steal). Of course, the situation (on that front) gets more complicated if account overdrawing is enabled in your account.

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I would go to the bank and ask for another card and U will sleep like a baby :)

  • But then I will not be able to get the refund, in case the manager does decide to refund me... – Erel Segal-Halevi May 15 '15 at 6:37
  • Check with your bank. Inform them of everything including the expected $50 refund. The credit should follow to the new card. – Kevin Fegan May 16 '15 at 21:12
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Yes, there is a slight reason to worry as the debit card contains

1) Account Number

2) of course a the Debit Card number

3) CSV code at the back of every debit card and

mostly these three parameters are being followed to verify the authenticity of the cardholder, but there are some other parameters like "password of your debit card" and even address in some cases. So stay chill the manager will not be able to make any online payment using the credential of your debit card without password and other details...

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