Stealing your PIN is quite easy. If you think it isn’t then you’re mistaken.

So many people show off their PIN every single time they have to tap it into a card reader!!

Ok, so imagine this, you’re at a cash machine (or an ATM if you prefer?) and you need to get some cash out. It’s not a large amount so your guard isn’t up too high.

You put the card in, ask for £20 (or $20!) , enter the PIN and your cash comes out. You take your cash and a young lady drops a vase to your left. You automatically look at what has happened and see the lady getting upset and some people go to help her. You turn your attention back to the machine, take your card and put your things away.

You walk away checking that the young lady seems ok and has enough people looking after her.

Here’s what actually happened.

1 guy spotted what card you have and knew that he had a similar looking replacement for it. He signalled the young lady that you were a perfect mark.

Over your right shoulder another person is watching you enter your PIN and gives the lady another signal that this is now a definite go.

When the cash comes out the lady waits for you to have the cash your hand and for the card to come out – she then drops the vase (it’s probably only worth a very small amount but no one can resist snapping their head and eyes towards the sound of smashing glass) so you look, you notice her and you have to keep looking because she is obviously heartbroken. This gives the card spotter the time to take your card and replace it with the lookalike.

You take the lookalike, and put it away………….

In the UK you can take out around £500 from cash machines before they cap it.

And how many days could they do that for before you notice? Here is the lesson here – no matter how boring or annoying it may seem, ALWAYS cover the keypad when entering your PIN.


I know it’s annoying, but think about it this way.

If that person had covered their PIN the team would have stopped right there.

No smashed vase.

No feeling of dread over calling the bank and trying to say that your card has been stolen.

No forms to fill out with the insurance company. And no feeling of hurt/guilt/shame whenever you need to use a cash machine in the future.

Also, think on this, more than 60% of the population use the same PIN for everything, so what else do they now have access to?

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