ATM Safety Tip: Entering Your ATM PIN in Reverse. Debunking the Myth!

Recently on social media, information circulated that claims entering your PIN backwards will alert the police.

This statement however is simply FALSE. This rumor has existed since the mid-1980s, when some American police departments proposed an ATM PIN system that would do just that, believing it to be an effective way of tracking criminals.

Itís been brought into the spotlight again in recent years due to the circulation of an email chain letter hoax in 2006, which has since spread to social networks like Facebook and Tumblr.

There are a number of issues with a system like this. Some people may have reversible PINs such as '7667' or '8888' and these palindromic PINs would become unavailable so that there were no false call outs. Semi-reversible PINs like '3783' or '1031' would also need to be avoided to minimize the risk that someone might accidentally enter their PIN incorrectly (it would only take one number) and call the police. Additionally, if you're in the stressful situation of being threatened to hand over money at an ATM, it may become difficult to even remember what your PIN is backwards.

Here are some important tips to remember to keep yourself safe when using ATMs:

  • As you approach an ATM, be aware of your surroundings and have your card ready.
  • Always use ATM machines during the day or at well-lit locations during the night
  • Do not use any ATM that has suspicious protruding parts or unusual card readers
  • Do NOT accept help from anyone at the ATM and NEVER disclose your PIN to anyone
  • Check your statements regularly or review all your transaction activity via UTC U-Online or UTC ATM mini statements
  • If your card is stuck at an ATM, immediately contact us at 625-8648 option 3 between the hours of 7:00am and 10:00pm daily or email to have a block placed on your card.