Real Life

Kevin Milne: Fictional bank security

Sort the facts from fiction when it comes to bank safety.

Is it true that if someone is forcing you to withdraw money at an ATM you can enter your pin number in reverse and it will alert the police? I have heard this from several different friends and it sounds like a clever idea. But I have never been advised of this by my bank or any official sources.

It may sound like a clever idea but no, it is not correct. The story goes that if you enter your pin number in reverse it will pay out the cash but simultaneously contact your nearest police station that you are being robbed.This is not the case and never has been.

If you enter your pin number in reverse at an ATM it will reject your application for funds and you will get nothing. If ATM machines were designed to contact the police when you entered your pin number in reverse, surely the machine would be designed to state that there were no funds remaining in your account prior to alerting the police, rather than paying out the cash.

This urban myth has been around many years, despite continued denials by the banks and police. I would recommend that if you are being forced to withdraw cash, do so and leave it to the police to track down the offender. With a bit of luck,

the ATM will be covered by a security camera – I believe many are now.

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