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How to block a lost or stolen Belgian bank card - new phone number
Belgium's Card Stop hotline, which allows users to quickly block a missing or stolen bank card, has become a completely free service from this week.
Telecoms minister Petra De Sutter said it was "absurd" that the victims of bank card fraud or theft should have to pay €0.30 per minute to protect their accounts.
"As most customers today have a mobile subscription, we make sure that a call to Card Stop is included in their package of minutes, to avoid additional charges," De Sutter added.
Card Stop was launched as a cooperation between Belgian banks in 1993, using a paid-for 070 number.
The switch to a freephone service from this Monday requires the use of a new phone number. It is now 078 170 170. The old number will remain operational for several years to ensure no calls are missed.
Financial services federation Febelfin has launched a multimedia advertising campaign to raise awareness of the new number. Stickers on cash machines will all be replaced.
Last year, Card Stop received 824,127 calls. Some 68% of calls were for lost cards, 8% were thefts and 25% of callers had been the victims of an internet scam.
The number is available 24 hours a day in Dutch, French and English. It can also be called from abroad by adding the +32 prefix to the phone number.