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snopes
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Comment: I heard that entering your pin number in reverse order at an ATM
may alert authorities if you are being robbed. I did this accidently at
an ATM, and the machine waited until the end of the transaction to
reconfirm my PIN, Which I entered correctly this time.

Any truth to this?

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lynnejanet
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If it were true, I think that it would be better publicized. What good is a defensive measure that no one knows about? Furthermore, how would the "machine" contact the police?

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lynne"insert appropriate punny phrase here"janet

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Double Latte
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And what if my number is the same backwards as forwards?

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Joe Bentley
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You know even if this is a UL I have to admit... its not a bad idea.

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greg writes
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Most alarm systems will send out an "ambush" message if you enter one higher than your code (example: if your code is 1234, you'd enter 1235). It's for situations if someone followed you inside your house/business and held you at gunpoint to disable the alarm. The alarm would be disabled as normal, so the robber thinks nothing of it. But the security company notifies the police that you're in trouble, and to not use sirens en route to your home/business (as to not spook the robber, and to nab the perp as he makes his getaway).

That type of code would make more sense for ATMs (and address the "what if the PIN is the same forwards as backwards?" question).

But consider what I found here: ATM stats
quote:
ATM robbers are usually males under 25 years of age and most work alone. ATM robbers usually position themselves nearby (30 feet) waiting for a victim to approach and withdraw cash. Half of the ATM robberies occur after the cash withdrawal. Many ATM robbery victims are women and were alone when robbed. Most claim that they never saw the robber coming. Most ATM robbers used a gun or claimed to have a concealed weapon when confronting the victim and demanding their cash.
That being said, the need for entering a PIN backwards for a police ambush would be a moot. Most ATMs have video cameras, so a robber would be unlikely to stand nearby with a gun at your head ... allowing the whole thing to get caught on tape. They'll wait out of sight until AFTER the withdrawl (and hence, long after you've entered the correct PIN), when they know you have the cash on you.

These are crimes of opportunity ... with minimal results. Most banks impose daily withdrawl limits ($300, usually). And what's the average withdrawl, anyway? $40, $60, $100? I wouldn't risk getting shot or stabbed over that amount.

Bottom line, don't try any funny stuff. Fork over the cash, remember as many details as possible and file a police report. The bank may even refund the money you lost (depending on the goodwill of the branch manager).

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snopes
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Also, if you are on an elevator and push the button for a floor other than the one you want to visit, an emergency response unit will be dispatched to your location.

- snopes

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DesertRat
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Heh.

Still, I concur with Joe Bentley... some manner of "distress PIN" really would be a great idea. I'm surprised no one has come up with it yet.

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Wizard of Yendor
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Someone has. Unfortunatly it was someone who makes ULs instead of ATMs. [Razz]
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Cervus
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Also, if you are on an elevator and push the button for a floor other than the one you want to visit, an emergency response unit will be dispatched to your location.

Eh? Is this supposed to be a joke? How does the elevator "know" which floor you want to visit? Why would pressing a certain floor button mean there's an emergency? I don't get it. For example, if I needed to go to floor 2, and pressed floor 2, then realized I forgot something and pressed floor 1 to go back down, the elevator would take me to floor 2 and then back down again. Why would anything else happen unless I pressed the "call" button? I frequently press wrong floor buttons (accidentally) and have never had any elevator emergency/repair/whatever people come. So...I don't understand this.

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LtColCarter
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Cervus, I think it actually was a joke.

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diddy
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And to add on to that, what criminal would wait around for teh cops to show up, miost of em would be gone in a minute way before the cops arrive.

And as well, how would teh cops know if you simply entered it in wrong. In other words, how do they know a real emergency from a fake one? That would draw cops away from something else...

[ 04. December 2004, 12:06 AM:   snopes ]

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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Arthur Haley's The Moneychangers featured a "distress credit card" in the name of H. E. Lyncolp (spelling out HELP if used) given to a bank's undercover agent, which when used resulted in an alert being passed to the police.

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Jack Dylan
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I can't believe someone actually believed the 'elevator' alarm post.
Besides, I live in Australia and we have the ATM alarm PIN thing. You just multiply your pin by 15, think of a number between 1 and 10 then subtract that. Divide by the sum of your PIN's numbers added together. [Cool]

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Bassist
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Mr Blonde, a FOAF said that the number that's subtracted can be used as a clue to tell police hints about the person trying to rob you. Is that true?

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