Hoax: ‘ATM pin in reverse won’t alert the police’

2009-07-02 00:00

THE SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) yesterday warned of the re-emergence of an e-mail claiming that keying in an ATM card PIN in reverse when forced by criminals to make a transaction will automatically alert the police.

“The e-mail is a hoax and bank customers should ignore it,” said Sabric CEO, Kalyani Pillay.

“No ATM in South Africa is equipped with a facility to alert police of any distress of a bank customer at any point, irrespective of whether you key in your ATM card PIN in reverse. This is not the first time that this hoax e-mail has been circulated and unfortunately its origins are unknown to us.”

Pillay urged banking customers to be alert at all times about their financial dealings even when receiving information that is seemingly credible and helpful. “We advise bank customers to validate any unsolicited information that they receive either by e-mail, telephone or even hearsay with their banks prior to acting upon it. The banks have dedicated call centres to deal with client queries and the public should make better use of them. The alertness of bank clients is often the best preventative measure against many bank-related scams,” said Pillay. — WR.

• Be vigilant when doing an ATM transaction.

• Choose a well-lit ATM in a safe environment.

• Ask someone you trust to go with you if you feel unsafe.

• Notify your bank and the police immediately if you fall victim to a bank-related crime.

• Never let anyone distract you.

• Never ask anyone to assist you with your ATM transaction; rather go into the bank.

• Never force your card into the machine.

• Make sure that there is no one watching you when entering your secret PIN number.

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