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March 25, 2004

What about palindromes?

It appears that there's a movement afoot to require banks to program their ATMs so that if you type in your PIN number in reverse order, the machine will give you the money, but will also call the police. The idea is that people could use this as a MAYDAY in the event they are being forced by a bad-guy to withdraw the cash.

I just sat here, in the calmness and safety of my desk chair, and I can't quickly determine what my PIN would be backwards. I have little hope that I could figure it out with a gun to my head. A better idea would be to have a user selectable additional digit that we could add to the end of the PIN that would set off the alarm.

The other problem with the "reverse-PIN" idea is that it discriminates against people with PINs like 4994.

Posted by jghiii at March 25, 2004 10:12 AM
Posted by: steve on March 25, 2004 01:48 PM

4994 4994!

Posted by: sherman on March 25, 2004 11:17 PM

I don't think the robbers will need that much time. You enter the reverse number and it sends the signal. Robbers want to know why the access didn't happen. You then have to enter the right number, or else they're gonna pop you. So you do and they just shove you out of the weigh and process the withdrawal and I think they're gone long before any bubble-top car approaches.

Posted by: Jo Ann on March 26, 2004 05:50 AM

OH NO! Steve is getting robbed as he is posting on Gone East! Help him, help him! :-)

As I was reading this, I thought the same thing as Jack... under pressure, who can think of their pin code backwards? And what if it's reversed! And as Sherm pointed out, the robber would be gone before the cops arrive.

I wonder if this is even real. I know it's really out there on the internet and in the news, but a lot of urban myths get past the media (even AP). Call me a cynic, but this idea is just so absurd, I can't imagine it being serious!

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