When you use a debit card, the amount of the transaction is deducted directly from your bank account. What are your protections if something goes wrong?
No matter whether it’s a purchase made over the internet, a withdrawal from an ATM or some other electronic device, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act protects you against errors and unauthorized withdrawals involving debit card transaction, if you report the problem promptly.
If the debit card is lost or stolen, you are liable for unauthorized transfers to a maximum of $50 if you notify the bank within two days after discovering the loss or theft.
The important theme here is that you take action as soon as you are aware of a problem. In many cases banks will cover all losses and you will not have any exposure.