Pin Number Reversal

If you use an ATM, this is good to know. Pass it on to others you know and it may be helpful some day.


atm_keypadIf you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your Pin # in reverse. For example if your pin number is 1234 then you would put in 4321

The ATM recognizes that your pin number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine. The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to help you. This information was recently broadcasted on FOX TV and it states that it is seldom used because people don’t know it exists.

Please pass this along to everyone possible.

Reader Submitted by,
Mike Carr from Carlsbad, NM Response

According to, this legend is fiction.

“The eRumor is false because there isn’t anywhere that we could find where this emergency procedure at ATM machines is actually being used.

There is a seed of truth to it, however, in that the idea has been floating around for a while. One of the biggest proponents has been in Illinois attorney named Joseph Zingher. He says the notion came to him when he was a law student at the University of Illinois and one evening was withdrawing money from an ATM in a scary part of town. He patented his concept in 1998 and has been trying to talk banks into using it ever since.

Under Zingher’s system, every ATM account would have two PIN numbers—the normal PIN used to withdraw money and what he calls the “ATM SafetyPIN” to alert police that something bad was happening at the ATM. It has also come to be popularly called the “Panic PIN.” The SafetyPIN would typically be the reverse of the normal PIN number or some other variation that would be easy to remember. Legislation was passed in Illinois that would allow banks to adopt the system, but did not mandate it. So far, no banks or financial institutions have done so. Zingher has offered to let Illinois-based banks to use it for free but some of them have said they think it would be too expensive and that ATM crime is not frequent enough. Zingher says that ATM crime is much higher than believed because not all crime reporting reflects whether it has taken place in connection with an ATM or forced withdrawal of cash.”