Do not type your PIN in reverse at an ATM

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has warned South Africans that two messages purporting to come from the organisation are fake.

“Please note that this is part of the scam where people are advised to input their PIN in reverse at ATMs,” it said.

“While some of the messages have been taken from the SABRIC website, in an attempt to give these messages credibility, SABRIC denies having issued or disseminated any such message.”

“Please be aware of the following false information purporting to be from SABRIC.”

Fake Message 1


In the spite of armed robbery, here is something you may really need. When a thief forces you to take money from the atm, do not argue or resist, you might not know what he or she might do to you.

What you should do is to punch your pin in the reverse, i.e. if your pin is 1254, you punch 4521. The moment you punch in the reverse, the money will come out but will be stuck into the machine half way out and it will alert police without the notice of the thief.

Every ATM has it, it is specially made to signify danger and help. Not everyone is aware of this. Forward this to all your friends and those you care for.

Fake Message 2


SABRIC strongly urges 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 email, 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.”

SABRIC has the following tips for ATM users:

  • Be vigilant when performing an ATM transaction and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Always choose an ATM that is in a well-lit and safe environment.
  • Ask someone you know and trust to accompany you to make your ATM transaction 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 when making an ATM transaction.
  • Never ask anyone to assist you with your ATM transaction; rather go into the bank.
  • Never force your card into the machine; rather use another ATM machine.
  • Make sure that there is no one watching you when entering your secret PIN number; shield the ATM keypad with your other hand.

For information on industry measures and any queries contact: SABRIC Media Liaison Tel: +27 11 847 3000, [email protected]

Now read: South African criminal reveals how they steal your bank card at an ATM

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Do not type your PIN in reverse at an ATM