Monday, 7 September 2015


How to beat ATM robbers by reversing your PIN number

A circulating email gives what is claimed to be sound advice on how to beat an ATM robber who forces you to withdraw cash.

The email claims that entering a reverse PIN number will alert police. But the email is a hoax and anyone following the advice in the email could expose themselves to even greater danger.
Anyone receiving circulating advice emails of any kind should always Google the information to check for reliability before forwarding it to contacts and Facebook friends.

Today I saw the offending email reproduced on Facebook and I have reproduced it below. Readers will note that it does not refer to any authority, or provide any kind of verification, or links to any authority or verification. The reference to Crime Stoppers is false.

Forwarding or sharing this false information may cause harm

The email first started circulating in 2006 and was based on a patent taken out in 1986 which would have enabled banks to install the technology in their ATM machines. But to date no known banks have taken up the system.

At least two US states tried and failed to legislate for a reverse PIN system, also known as Safety PIN. The banks’ opposition is based on several facts:
A Twist of Fate

The cost of implementing the system would have been prohibitive. The police responses take longer than ATM transactions and they would only arrive long after offender and victim had departed the scene. In addition, if the Safety PIN system became widely known to bank customers it would also be just as widely known to offenders. An offender seeing that a number carefully inserted failed to give up cash could simply kill the card holder and put the number in, reversed again, and get the cash. The banks also found another problem; some popular PIN numbers like 3333 or 2112 cannot be reversed.

The wisest thing to do when surprised by a criminal at an ATM would be to stay calm, while appearing to panic, put any bunch of numbers into the machine three times and have the card swallowed by the machine. The only other thing you can do is scream, run, or do both as loudly and as quickly as you can.

The fallacy of reverse PIN numbers can be verified by going to Wikipedia, Snopes, Hoax Slayer and many other reliable sites. The official New Zealand Police website also carries a warning about the reverse PIN hoax.

You cannot beat an ATM criminal by reversing your PIN number.