Protect your PIN, Secure your Cash!

We take paying by card and accessing cash any time of the day or night for granted these days. With last minute and late night shopping, socialising and eating out it’s all too easy to lose track of how much we are spending and where.


Take extra care with your credit and debit cards and reduce the chances of them being stolen or skimmed.



PIN Safety

  • Never write your PIN number down or tell it to anyone else. Destroy the PIN notification you receive from your bank.
  • Don’t store your PIN number along with the card. If both are stolen you may not be covered for fraudulent use.
  • If you suspect that someone knows your PIN, change it immediately. Don’t ever change the number to something obvious like 1234 or a sequence of repeating numbers (eg.5555).  That’s going to make it too easy for someone who gets hold of your card to access your cash.
  • Some people change all their PIN numbers to the same one, this might seem like a good idea but could leave all of your cards vulnerable. Much better to find a way to make each number unique.
  • Choose a number that’s easy to remember. Then add a fixed amount to each digit or pair of digits. So 1964 +1 would become 2065. Simple!
  • Choose a date that means something to you, and only you. To make it more difficult to guess, put the last two digits first, and vice versa. So 2005 becomes 0520.
  • Create a PIN from a word or series of letters.  Use an uncommon word or the initial letters of a short phrase. Many keypads on  ATMs have letters as well as numbers.


At the cash machinePin Security

  • Where possible, plan ahead and get your cash out during daylight hours.
  • Be vigilant when using a cash machine. If you notice anything out of place, any unusual devices attached to the machine or anyone hanging around nearby, report it.
  • Skimming or cloning devices are sometimes used to copy details from the magnetic stripe on your card as it is inserted into the machine.  Criminals may also try to obtain your PIN number by fixing a tiny camera above the keypad.
  • If you do notice any unusual devices, alert bank or building society staff straight away or call the number given on the machine if no staff are available.
  • If the cash machine doesn't return your card when you expect it to, do not re-enter the PIN. Report your lost card to the machine’s owner as soon as you can.
  • Stand close to the machine and shield the keypad, so that nobody can see you enter your PIN number, and it cannot be recorded by a hidden camera.
  • Ensure nobody is looking over your shoulder – they may see your PIN number and then target you to steal and use your card.
  • Do not accept help from 'well-meaning' strangers or allow yourself to be distracted.
  • On completing your transaction, put your money and card safely away and out of sight before moving away from the cash machine.
  • On a night out, don’t be tempted to draw out more money when you’ve had a few to drink. You’ll be vulnerable to opportunist thieves who look out for people with their guard down and you’ll be more likely to lose large amounts of cash.


ATM PIN Number Reversal hoax email

We have been alerted to a hoax email that has been circulating purporting to originate from Crimestoppers. It claims that if you enter your pin number in reverse into a cash point the police will be sent to your location.


This information is not true.

This email did not originate with Crimestoppers. It's content is false.


The email states:


PIN advice - good information
ATM PIN Number Reversal - Good to Know!!

If 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 system 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 the location. All ATM’s carry this emergency sequencer by law.

This information was recently broadcast on by Crime Stoppers however it is seldom used because people just don't know about it.

Please pass this along to everyone.

This is the kind of information people don't mind receiving, so pass it on to your family and friends


What to do if you receive this email:

If you receive this email or one similar to it please ignore it. The advice contained in the email is false, so there is no reason to forward the email onto anyone else.


At the checkout

  • Make sure you always keep your card in sight whilst your transaction is completed.
  • Stand close to the machine and shield the keypad, so that nobody can see you enter your PIN number.
  • It’s so easy to forget your card, check you have your card and your receipt tucked safely away before you gather your shopping.


Keep track of your spending

  • Check your bank and credit card statements as soon as you get them, not forgetting your online bank accounts.
  • Keep all of your receipts for checking against your statements and if you notice any suspicious transactions, contact your bank or card company straight away. 


If your cards are lost,  stolen or used fraudulently

  • Keep your bank’s Customer Service or Lost & Stolen Team’s number in your phone.  The sooner you let your bank and card companies know the better.
  • Reported lost or stolen cards are normally cancelled by your bank and it can take more than a week to get a replacement card and PIN number. To avoid being left with no access to cash or shopping don’t take all of your cards out with you.  Keep an emergency card somewhere safe and separate from others.
  • If you suspect that your card has been used fraudulently you should contact your card issuer immediately. They will investigate and report it to the police. If you are the innocent victim of card fraud, you will not be held liable for the losses.