One of the more persistent hoaxes floating around the internet is the ‘reverse PIN’. It claims that entering your PIN in reverse at a bank machine (or ATM) will alert the police if you’re being forced to withdraw money. This hoax has been doing the rounds since 2006.
It’s NOT true. If you see someone sharing this hoax email or a post on Facebook and they refuse to believe it’s false, ask them this:
What if your PIN is 8118 or 7777 or 3223? Those are the same forwards and backwards. If this hoax was actually true, then banks would not allow you to have ‘palindromic’ PINs. If they did that, many PIN combinations would not be permitted and it would be far easier to crack.
Those are the same forwards and backwards. If this hoax was actually true, then banks would not allow you to have ‘palindromic’ PINs. If they did that, many PIN combinations would not be permitted, thus making the system less secure.
The actual concept of entering your PIN in reverse has been discussed in the past but it has never been implemented anywhere.
It would be unlikely to work anyway. How many people with a gun pointed at them would be able to easily remember their PIN, let alone what it is in reverse? In addition, if the police were alerted, by the time they got to that location, the criminal would be long gone.
Keeping your PIN safe is extremely important. When you are at a bank machine or purchasing something in the shops, be sure you shield the keypad from prying eyes. Be aware of your surroundings and look for anything unusual that might be attached to the bank machine. Card readers and small cameras can be attached to steal your PIN. If you’re not sure, don’t use it. Go into the bank and let them know.
Finally, if you ever see your friends share this reverse PIN hoax, be sure to let them know it is not true and give them a link to this post or simply use Google and search a phrase like “is the reverse PIN story true” – you’ll have your answer very quickly.