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Panic PIN

Entering alternate ATM PIN number summmons help
  (+356, -54)(+356, -54)(+356, -54)
(+356, -54)
  [vote for,

In addition to the regular PIN number (*), each bank card would have a second PIN number that would indicate the user was in some sort of distress (such as being forced to withdraw money at gunpoint). Use of this alternate PIN would summon the police and perhaps put the ATM's camera in a higher resolution and/or frame rate mode.

The panic PIN would otherwise function just like the regular PIN in that money could be gotten from the machine, so that the hostile party would not be able to tell that authorities had been called. Perhaps the ATM could distribute marked bills as well.

I think that the general knowledge that any coerced PIN or transaction could actually be used to summon the police would dramatically lower the incindence of crimes against ATM users.

(*) Yes, I know that "PIN number" is redundant.

johng, Jul 20 2000

Forget The PIN http://www.cnn.com/...1/30/eyeball.id.ap/
Forget the PIN, just look into the ATM's camera [dgeiser13, Jul 20 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

JP's Patent http://patft.uspto....31575&RS=PN/5731575
[Not altogether sure this link will work for anyone else - there's a lot of gook in it.] [DrCurry, Aug 15 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) JP's Safety Pin http://www.halfbake...dea/ATM_20SafetyPIN
Isn't this a copy of an idea I'd seen earlier? [smokeyjohnson, Aug 15 2002]

The nightmare: http://www.wnd.com/...sp?ARTICLE_ID=33209
Panic Pin's no good in this situation... [k_sra, Oct 04 2004]

Jimster's link http://uk.news.yaho...30523/36/e0npu.html
[k_sra, Oct 04 2004]

Banking on ATM safety - SafetyPIN software developed, but banks aren't buying http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4086277/
New article on this very thing - patented six years ago. [migennes, Oct 04 2004]

(???) Fake ATM machine http://us.rd.yahoo....d_nm/romania_atm_dc
Don't use one of these, though. [Zimmy, May 07 2005]

Halfbakery best list circa June '04 http://web.archive....akery.com/view/best
Still a paltry shadow of its former glory. [hidden truths, Mar 23 2006]

Urban Legends Reference Pages: PINned Hopes http://www.snopes.c...s/bank/pinalert.asp
Claim: Entering one's PIN in reverse at any ATM will summon the police. [nilstycho, Oct 15 2006]

SecureID http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SecurID
"a "duress PIN" may be used—an alternate code which creates a security event log showing that a user was forced to enter their PIN" [rmutt, Feb 12 2009]


       Neat idea, I don't think it would be to hard to get this done.. I mean.. these days computers control everything. The other side of this Panic Pin can be that criminals could get even more aggresive and force you to give the real pin.. update July 24; Egnor gots a point.. criminals wait untill you got your money, and than strike esp. if there will be a Panic PIN. ATM probably researched* this concept. (* can't find anything on it, but i cant imagine that ATM didn't thougt of this before?)
enveekaa, Jul 20 2000, last modified Jul 23 2000

       How would the crimianl know which PIN was the 'real' one? At best, the odds are now 50-50. The 4 possibilities and outcomes are:   

       victim lies, thief believes --> police called victim lies, thief disbelieves --> $$$ victim tells truth, thief believes --> $$$ victim tells truth, thief disbelieves --> police called   

       Since the ATM will distribute the money regardless, I'd image that the thieves would be betting that they can take the money and run before the police might arrive. Since they have extra incentive to leave the scene, that reduces the chance that they might take out a little gratuitous aggression on the victim before they leave.
johng, Jul 20 2000

       And it shouldn't be too hard to have it stamp 'STOLEN CALL POLICE' in UV ink if you use the panic PIN...I like this...
StarChaser, Jul 20 2000

       I think this is an awesome idea, and can't think of any comments that haven't been proposed. However, this does remind me of a good friend who used to taunt me whenever i said, "PIN Number." In a very silly voice he would say, "Yes! Give me my PIN Number so that i can go to the ATM Machine and get some Cash Money!"
johan, Jul 22 2000

       The problem is that the acronym isn't very good, there's already something called a 'pin'. Almost everybody but the terminally butt-clenched says 'pin number'...
StarChaser, Jul 22 2000

       Do a google search for "ATM PIN forced reveal". (or "ATM PIN kidnap") It happens fairly often.
johan, Jul 23 2000

       Yeah, this seems great. But this sort of preventative remedy seems to forget the underlying irrationality that motivates most crimes. It's not a games theory-motivated decision about the probability of marked bills, it's just desperation. Maybe not in all cases, but in most.
mcfrank, Jul 24 2000

       I thought studies had shown otherwise ... that while individual criminals may well be irrational, crime as a whole can be explained fairly well by economic theory. Except for the occasional random lunatic, people don't do things if it's not worth their while.   

       Society relies on this pretty thoroughly. If you're really unhinged and you don't care what happens to you, it's easy to do a lot of damage. It's all about deterrence.
egnor, Jul 24 2000

       I guess there is some deterrence value in it, but economic theory can definitely explain motivation without taking any of the underlying irrationality out of the means. But I'm not going to argue too hard about this one because I'm definitely not qualified.   

       Also, doesn't this idea raise some privacy concerns? I guess it's still a very far cry away from completely regulating all cash, but doesn't it smack of allowing someone (be it the banks or the government) to track cash transactions at will?
mcfrank, Jul 25 2000


       Hello, your card has your *account number* on it, which is tied to all the personal data you could hope! Banks already do log all ATM transactions, you know. And you're worried for some reason about adding a second PIN?
egnor, Jul 25 2000

       I'm not convinced by this one. It's hard enough remembering all my passwords and PIN's as it is. I can do without another thanks. Also, although DrBob is an entirely sane and rational person and wouldn't dream of doing it, I bet that there's an awful lot of brain dead individuals out there who would use their emergency PIN when they forgot what the proper one was. Also, why have I started talking about myself in the third person?
DrBob, Jul 25 2000

       The emergency pin would be entirely optional, Bob. There's no need to remember it at all, unless you think there is a risk of being frogmarched down to a cashpoint, or held up at one. Indeed, if needs be, the banks could only issue Panic PINS to those who specifically request them.
Lemon, Jul 26 2000

       What if you simply made the Panic PIN the reverse of your actual PIN. That way you would have less trouble remembering it, and the hapless perp would be none the wiser.   

       Another point: the cameras in ATMs don't have a very wide field, and it just won't do to have half of the thief's face in the picture- assuming the person was standing beside you (which of course is not always the case). What if you had another camera or two that took a wider angle shot of anyone standing out of range of the first camera when you triggered the alarm?   

       For areas that have a fairly fast police response (regrettably few these days), how about adding a subroutine that a) calls the police, and b) slows the process down a bit so the transaction will take a bit more time to process so the police can catch the perp in the act? One possible idea would be to have the bill dispenser cycle a few more times than normal- which happens anyway when the ATM is low on cash, so things would still seem normal to the thief.   

       BTW- I've also found that a handy can of pepper spray (aka. dog repellent) also discourages some of these ATM thieves- at least the four I've encountered. Keep it in a coat pocket with your wallet (or in a purse- women are luckier that way) and you can surprise the would-be thief quite easily with a faceful of it. A good splash of the stuff will deter all but the most determined, desperate, or demented thug.
BigThor, Jul 26 2000

       I know that most ATM's are simply hole-in-the-wall type arrangements, but a few I have been to are located inside a room accessable only by swiping your card, and also only if unoccupied. If all ATM's were so located, then any jerk entering and attempting to use a stolen card would be locked in (having used the Panic Pin of course) and the authorities called.   

       Filling the room with nerve gas is an option that could be incorporated into the individuals Panic Pin.
Alcin, Sep 04 2000

       The only thing the Panic PIN has to do in addition to summoning the police is shut down without returning the card. Then there is no way the thief would know if he had the real or the fake number till the cops showed up.
arghblah, Sep 15 2000

       Partly baked. Not an ATM, but Security Dynamics already offers a "duress PIN" feature for their SecurID PINpad cards, which uses exactly this principle.
brouhaha, Sep 16 2000

       How about a Panic Pin Detector for robbers. They could us it to detect if someone was trying to cheat them by using a panic pin number. Then they could beat the crap out of them and take their money.
monty, Sep 16 2000

       This idea for a panic PIN is really great. Having just found this web site I seem to be several months behind the curve. Everything relevant seems to have been discussed so I'll just add something irrelevant - Richard Pryor said "Just throw up all over your money as you're handing it over, most thieves won't want it then".
Cheph, Nov 28 2000

       really great idea and if the machine spat out some invisibly marked bills that any store could check before they accepted them, they mostly check all $20's anyway, instead of real money. and the store could just say "i can't accept this bill", and the thief would have very few places to spend the stuff and in the mean time the thief would be leaving a trail of rejected bills, which could get him/her caught if anyone actually looked. which might happen if he killed his victim or something.
sinan314, Nov 28 2000

       Very secure and far more convenient, EFTPOS/ATM cards have made ATM machines obsolescent in Australia and New Zealand. I haven't used an ATM in five years. I get my cash when I rarely need it, at point of sale. There's a swipe-slot or button-pad on every counter.
rayfo, Dec 03 2000

       Not -every- counter, and sometimes there's no counter. Cash is still a necessity for a lot of transactions (try using EFTPOS on a bus...) - granted, it is possible to go through your life without seeing cash, but it's very unlikely.
Detly, Dec 04 2000

       This is similar to what the government does for some secure buildings...not that I can talk about this without killing you all :) If I remember correctly, you add 2 to 2 of the digits. It still allows you to think you are using it, but silently notifies the MPs (civilian police in this case). It would allow you to try to withdraw, check balance, etc....but the balance would be so small that they couldn't do much with it.
puppieboi, Jan 30 2001

       Interesting idea. It would be prohibitively expensive to retrofit ATMs with a duplicate cash dispenser, so the marked bill thing is out. I like the simulated 'low balance' idea - they could get at most $5 or so. The likelihood of police actually showing up in time is very low; at least reduce what they can take. ATMs already have tamper alarms so even with police notification this is a mostly software solution.
sirsausage, Feb 15 2001

       ATMs that have this feature could be called "SafetyMs" or "sAfeTyM".
funcrusher, Feb 26 2001

       One small problem with this Idea.   

       If panic PINs came about, then surely theives would know about them as well, I mean, they are people too, probably with bank accounts. And if they're into robbing people and forcing them to withdraw cash from their bank accounts, then they would definitely know about them, and any delay in handing over the money/card being swallowed, etc would make the thieves aware that the victim had used the panic PIN and they would either a.) scarper or b.) be VERY angry at the victim for using the panic PIN.
baby_steffee, Apr 03 2001

       baby_ stefee: good point, but enveekaa beat you to it (see first annotation)   

       i.e. Read the idea, then the annotations...THEN post a concern.
iuvare, Apr 03 2001

       Yes the idea works on one level - especially if the police frog march a person to an atm to collect fines!!!
rbrand71, Apr 06 2001

       You would get a large number of nodogooders typing it in then scarpering, without a mugger to catch. And they'd still end up with their money!
rjswanson, Apr 06 2001

       Bad idea. How it got this far I do not understand.   

       Scenario 1: You awake in a police cell with a blinding headache. The only remaining memory of the previous night is swaying inebriated outside a bank building, having accidentaly typed in your Panic PIN. Suddenly you find yourself being half nelsoned face first into a cash machine and dragged of into a waiting police van.   

       Scenario 2: Panic PIN is issued by a 'practical joker' to his friend following a request to 'Do me a favour and get me tenner from the machine when you're out'. Hilarity ensues when aforementioned friend calls in tears from bank security.   

       Come on then hit me with your best.
davmac, Apr 09 2001

       Scenario 1: "Good evening, officers. Certainly, I have my identification right here. I seem to have typed in the wrong PIN, sorry to have troubled you."   

       The cops might be useful in scenario 2 after the sucker righteously murders the 'friend'.
StarChaser, Apr 09 2001

       Starchaser, you are obviously very compus mentus after babysham and as such strike me as a person to offer a second chance.   

       Firstly, this is the eighth time the police have been unnecessarily called out this evening. It's raining heavily and there have already been three rapes and a god damn cop killing that could have been prevented had their activities not been focused on another 'Code 247 at First National on 8th and 44th'.   

       But here's Starchaser, "Good evening, officers. Certainly, I have my identification right here. I seem to have typed in the wrong PIN, sorry to have troubled you."   

       You'd wake up in the same cell but with a slightly more painful sphincter.
davmac, Apr 10 2001

       <shrug> I don't get so drunk as to not be able to walk, then go drive to an ATM to get money. If you do, maybe you need help.
StarChaser, Apr 11 2001

       We are forgetting the One Law: Murphy's Law (also known as the Sod's Law): if you have a pin, you Shall Forget It. So, two pins, double the trouble. And this is not so much as a half-baked idea as a good idea, with companies being too skanky (forgive the terminology, mind blank as to the correct word).
pipp, Apr 19 2001

       Ok, you've just had your wallet stolen with all your ID in it: "Good evening, officers. Certainly, I have my identification right here. I seem to have typed in the wrong PIN, sorry to have troubled you." Hmm. Yes, good one...
cyberprog, Apr 21 2001

       Some remote control car alarms use a system called 'code hopping' so that the code changes every time the unit's used. How about each ATM card having, say, four PINs which it uses in rotation, so even if a thief has watched you enter the PIN before he steals your card, the same PIN won't work next time. BTW, hi, guys, I'm new here. This place is amazing!
angel, Apr 22 2001

       I think this is genius. It's the equivalent of giving every bank user their own "Red Button." I would use a bank that implemented this system.
mutilato, Apr 24 2001

       cyberprog: If you've had your wallet stolen, how did you use the automatic ATM machine. I don't keep my ATM card in my spare wallet.
AndyRPI, Apr 24 2001

       I wonder when this will be the first idea to garner 100 positive votes. We should hold a party, or something.
centauri, May 09 2001

       ...and that makes me the first person to post the 100th +ve vote to an idea...
hippo, May 09 2001

       Let's turn this up a notch : why don't we have the ATM dispense a handy & convenient gun instead of the expected cash when the panic PIN is used. That should make for some interesting street scenes.
houbi, May 19 2001

       For those experiencing memory problems ... you could just make your panic PIN something like HELP.
toomuchmike, May 19 2001

       This is a great idea,I think I might copy it and pass it off as my own and make millions of dollars.........
ronansk, Jun 08 2001

       Most ATM's don't have the letters on the numbers like a phone,so it's a little difficult to spell 'HELP' with the 'letters' 1234567890...
StarChaser, Jun 09 2001

       Ever send messages with a calculator upside down? I did all the time when I was a kid. 4 was an h; 3 was an E; for the l you could use 1; and you'll just have to use your imagination for the p (I would just use the 9 even though that's a q)... or you could use the letters that you would find if it was a phone (even though they aren't printed on the ATM)
DarkTigger, Jun 20 2001

       No more than '5318008'...   

       Problem is that most people don't remember what letter is on what number, <Quick! Without looking and without taking a long time to think, what letters are on the 7? And does your phone have all of them?> and standing there and trying to think when someone is poking you in the back with a gun and yelling 'hurry up!' makes it even less likely...
StarChaser, Jun 21 2001

       Idea sucks ... and let me tell you why ... During the war in Yugoslavia I had a unique chance to see how people react when you are poking them in the back with your AK-47.   

       They don't move. They don't think. They don't speak.   

       So ... I'll give you advice. When something like this is going on - do what person with a gun says - because playing a hero is nice way to die.
Ex, Jun 27 2001

       [CrashThatch]: That's not the point; you might as well ask how many people here have died of cancer.
angel, Jul 04 2001

       fyi: I have been using this process for years on my security system at work. And the panic PIN is very easy to remember ... it is your regular PIN plus one. No matter how often you change your PIN, the system recognizes the '+1' and takes appropriate, predetermined action. The only downside I can see is a thief who demands your PIN, you give him the Panic PIN, and he enters it *minus one.* Naw, thieves aren't that smart, or they'd be in a diferent business.
ezjtb, Jul 04 2001

       How about an extra number that brings up a message that you have exceeded your daily limit, and only gives you nominal cash. That way the thug sees the message, gets a little cash, and maybe he doesn't stick you in the eye with a screwdriver.
r@fink, Jul 13 2001

       How about a default Panic PIN of "9-1-1-1" -- we've all been programmed to think "911" in emergencies anyway (at least here in the US), so it might possibly come to mind in such a situation. You could always set up a different personal panic pin if you wanted, but if you didn't bother to before the need arose, you could use the default.
cath, Jul 14 2001

       Too obvious.
StarChaser, Jul 14 2001

       Why not just face the camera and scream really loudly for the microphine?
theAntiELVIS, Jul 23 2001

       Do they have microphones? If they do, they're pretty well hidden...I don't think I've ever seen one...
StarChaser, Jul 26 2001

       Apart from which, the cameras are not monitored in real time, they're just used for evidence after the fact.
angel, Jul 27 2001

       It's simple....banks just need to add a braille panic button...problem solved :)
Shemp, Aug 09 2001

       O.K. so it isn't "gimme your cash or I'll stick ya!", it's "gimme your card, or I'll stick ya!" Ya wanna avoid all of this, just move to North Dakota. You'll miss the fun, and entertainment along with the crime.
r@fink, Aug 27 2001

       Several comments:   

       Make panic PIN reverse order of real PIN - should be easily remembered. Of course, there will be some who will never remember which is which, those that don't know whether they're coming or going.   

       Cameras aren't viewed real-time, have very poor resolution after-the-fact, and don't pan wide enough to capture a thief unless he/she is very close to the machine.   

       Banks have no economic incentive whatsoever to make ATM's safe - they charge us fees for helping them to decrease their costs. As for violence at ATM's, banks contend that ATM's are in public arena and, hence, violence is due to "acts of God". This reasoning has been successful in court, too.
woodenbadger, Sep 06 2001

       this is a spledid idea... however, there's those little thingies in each bill... no bill is authentic without that little strip WITHIN it... modern technology is advanced enough to make those strips trackable... ergo, once unlawfully liberated from the victim, the money AND the perpetraitor can be tracked... if the perp has spent the money, maybe he could be identified by those which sold him things... it's about time this government starts using all this advanced technology FOR the people, instead of AGAINST the people... -coke
COKE HITS, Nov 02 2001

       Having a panic PIN be the backwards of your real one is not so good: plenty of folks have palindromic PINs (i.e., "8558").   

       Having a certain universal code to signal current trouble is also bad: the crook sees you type "9111", and you can kiss your cranium goodbye. It's hard for cameras to get a good look at a guy behind a Halloween mask, but he can get a good look at your fingers as they do the walking.   

       Marked money introduces the problem of permanently marked currency, which afterwards may wreak havoc as innocents try to use it, only to be hauled off to their friendly neighboorhood jail cell for trying to pass on stolen money.   

       I like the idea of a user-determined Panic Pin. A few extra ATM cycles does nothing terrible; plenty of machines do this without provocation. And many machines are in areas where cameras can get a decent shot (of course not those in the little machines themselves, but elsewhere, its feasible).
djanaba, Nov 02 2001

       I'm new to half-baked. A great idea, and simple too, like many great ideas. As long as the infrastructure is there to catch the robber and get the money back ASAP. The idea of it only giving back minimal money is nice - but thieves would then quickly infer you'd put in the panic PIN if this happened often.   

       But what is it doing here? It's a great idea, not a half-baked one. Maybe the inventor can degrade it so that it is half-baked.
mkirksmith, Dec 10 2001

       A lot of security alarm systems have this installed, so the technology is already out there.   

       Essentially, you enter your access code (read: PIN) plus one digit. So, instead of entering 1234 (your PIN) you would punch in 1235 (your PIN +1)   

       In the alarm system scenario, it would send a signal to the monitoring company. The ATM could simply swallow the card.
gargarax, Jan 03 2002

       Good Lord - Look at that vote total - Quite a while back & it was in the Neighborhhod of 125 - Mine makes it 166 'For'
thumbwax, Jan 04 2002

       171, now.
StarChaser, Jan 05 2002

       I think this idea is great! As many have mentioned, there are some flaws though. If I were implimenting this at a bank, I wouldn't post up signs or anything. would have the tellers ask people if they would be interested in a special "anti-thieverey option" and only have them explain it if the person shows interest. This would help keep the idea a secret, but only until people start telling their freinds.
tservo17, Jan 05 2002

       As to Mephista's comment, "I hope and believe that paper money will one day become completely obsolete - the sooner the better, for all the reasons given by annotators on this site." I laugh heartily. Watch Fight Club. All your money could be gone, and you'd have nothing...Chaos. But then again, money is the root of all evil, so maybe it'll be a gift, eh?
crackriot, Jan 09 2002

       If police would agree reasonable response times, entering the panic pin would set off the buildings silent alarm. Thus 40 seconds later 4 police officers turn up.   

       The next step is simple. Once the criminal has been convicted, he is sentenced to death and executed with 2 weeks.   

       I doubt you will have many more theives forcing people to withdraw cash after 3 or 4 people have been executed for it. Tada.... deterent.   

       Fact: Most of todays social problems are caused by a lack of discipline for young children and the lack of effective deterent for criminals. Bad parenting and poor sentencing.
CasaLoco, Jan 09 2002

       No wonder "loco" is part of your name.
bristolz, Jan 09 2002

       Cresting 100 votes pretty much says it. This should, and could, be baked and rolled out tommorow. Someone talk to NCR and get this thing done!   

       No marked bills and it is only a software update. People voluntarily sign up for it, they pick a second pin (they could make it their pin +1, or the reverse of their real one, or whatever they wanted) . It's voluntary, so if you are someone worried about your safety then you get one, if you are a college student who frequently gets blind drunk - you perhaps don't.   

       It notifies the cops, and reduces your available balance to a random number between $40-$60 for that transaction so they don't get away with that much. There are false uses of 911 and fire alarms, that doesn't them un-useful.   

       Although it might increase the number of muggings immediately -after- using the ATM, it would no doubt decrease overall muggings at ATMs... and would all but eliminate the incidents of people being car-jacked and then driven to various ATMs at gunpoint to withdraw money.
nhyatt, Jan 14 2002

       Thinking as the smart criminal I could be, but dont have the cojones to do the time for: First off, I think the idea is a "good" one, religiously speaking. Of course, who doesn't want to help those unfortunate victims of muggings.   

       However, (CasaLoco), in 40 seconds I can be long gone from the area. And although most criminals rockheaded enough to hurt someone for chump change wouldn't consider prior surveillance (ie binoculars for correct PIN), I would imagine some might adapt if the necessity for them was present. Usually it's the good guys adapting to bad guy tactics, though. My .02
Suitonym, Jan 16 2002

       Hmm, I read this idea long ago, but this is the longest, on-topic, halfbakery discussion I have ever witnessed. Good job, all (except me of course).
NeverDie, Jan 21 2002

       This is the granpappy of em all. A really fine idea. Deserves every vote.
lummox, Jan 22 2002

       Good idea, unfortunately it's wrapped in "negativity" for an experience that the banking world is trying to sell as "positive". Can you see the banking associate explaining this "optional" feature as they open a new account. The horror of the new customer. The home security alarm industry (i.e. ADT) has been doing this forever, you have an alternate pin in the event of a "push-in" to disable the home alarm. Biggest problem, is that under-pressure most people will forget. Many of the notes that I have read such as marking the bills, increasing the quality of the video recorder, etc. are all "over-engineering". I can't imagine a bank ever implementing this solution, and other notes are 100% correct - they have looked at this option internally and already voted against it.
curseman, Jan 29 2002

       How about if it calls the cops and gives out cash from someone else's account?
prune, Feb 11 2002

       How about a big boxing glove pops out of the money slot and punches the would-be robber?   

       Also, once the 'special' PIN is entered a salemans voice comes on and starts asking those awkward 'up-sell' questions like 'would you like to start payment on a life insurance policy for only mere pennies a day?' In this way, the would-be robber would be made to wait till security arrives and you get to hear a very relevant sales pitch!
painperdu, Feb 12 2002

       painperdu, your name is very appropriate for the halfbakery.
waugsqueke, Feb 12 2002

       It's simpler than all this. Get paid in cash, keep it under the bed.
king rollo, Feb 16 2002

       Well, it's broken 200 "Aye" votes, but I kinda have to agree with Curseman. Criminals will adapt, so it won't help too much, but it's not a wholely bad idea.
Aspera, Mar 27 2002

       I think it's an idea worth exploring. BTW, two Dartmouth professors were murdered by a couple of teenagers who wanted their ATM cards and PINs. This idea would not have stopped that particular crime from happening but if the coerced revelation of the PIN had been the "crime in process" one, the two would have been caught much sooner. I'm new here. Do these ideas ever get submitted to people who have the wherewithal to make them happen?
dandr, Mar 31 2002

       Fox News Chicago (WFLD-32) just did a report on this proposal 28-Apr-02 about 9:10pm. Their suggested proposal used the PIN number, backward.
supercat, Apr 28 2002

       Talking of myself, I would gladly pay some extra to be able to use that panic feature. I only wonder WHY THE HECK the banks still didn't offer it, it's SO easy to implement!!!   

       I would suggest the following though, if the Panic PIN is entered:   

       1) The police is summoned 2) The money on the card goes "on hold" immediately, except for a random amount below $100, which may be withdrawn as usual 3) The ATM slows down abit, so to force the criminals to stay by it for longer.
Wesha, May 22 2002

       // Talking of myself, I would gladly pay some extra to be able to use that panic feature. I only wonder WHY THE HECK the banks still didn't offer it, it's SO easy to implement!!!//   

       Actually, it's a bit trickier than you might think, since the panic PIN entry will be discovered not at the ATM itself, but at the database system that validates the entry. Such system would then have to figure out what police should be notified and dispatch them appropriately. To be sure, the companies which authorize PIN-based ATM's and merchants would have the addresses of most such machines and merchants on file (some machines are portable and finding the current location may take some work).
supercat, May 22 2002

       There's been a spate of ATM robberies in my area recently, and I've noted they took place after the victim had already used the machine, and made the withdrawal. The bandit made his/her move as the victim was leaving with a wad of fresh cash in hand. I have heard of no robberies of the nature described here, that a Panic PIN would work against. It seems to me that the way for robbers to counteract the Panic PIN would be to continue doing what they are doing, so what good is it?
waugsqueke, May 22 2002

       Yes, now if just a couple hundred of you would change your vote to "against," we could get this out of first place.
bristolz, May 22 2002

       Nice idea, until the robber says im taking ya wallet and driver license with ya address, if you f@ck me over with the wrong PIN ill burn ya house down...   

       Or if the case is that the person is just mugging u direct at the ATM, he could say something like this...   

       Walk through talk through of the situation :   

       Victim: At ATM inserts card...   

       Bad guy: Hello mate im robbing you, now before you say anything, behind you is a mate in a car, if you key in ya panic number he will follow you after the police come etc, when he gets you alone he will eat your children... or something nasty like that. Now let me feel the fibre of your fabric....   

       Victim: OK there you go its all yours chum.   

       Nah, you should move to NY or London, infact you should move to any town that has an ATM.
cookra, May 30 2002

       Since the police are not usually able to arrive in time when you call them on the phone ..I don't think they would make it in time to save you ...unless ofcoarse you gave the panic pin to your wife as a joke to see what she said when they did arrive and find her there with your card. That would be funny
shradius, Jun 05 2002

       Instead of the panic PIN alerting the police, why not have a drawer open to hand out a loaded colt 45. The hapless victim could then deliver a stern rebuke to the perpetrator. I can imagine a lot of arguments against this, but why not give it a try.   

       Concerned Citizen.
PT, Jun 06 2002

       PT: Can't imagine you'd get such a thing to fly politically, but it would make sense.<p> 911 response time: 10 minutes
.357 response time: 3 seconds
Which is more likely to be of use in an emergency?
supercat, Jun 06 2002

       And during the time that the machine takes to spit out the gun, the robber is supposed to just sit and wait? Nah, I think you'll end up with another gun in the hands of the crook.   

       What's needed is for the ATM to dispense marked bills that can be tracked via some sort of micro-homing beacon, or perhaps powdered like they do with moneybags stolen from banks, so that the thief can be identified later on.
RayfordSteele, Jun 06 2002

       This is a terrific idea. All that stands out in my mind is this: What if someone coerced money from the respective ATM machine in this manner, yet there was not actually an assailant? In other words, someone crooked seeks reimbursement for money stolen and hence receives double their money becuase they kept the original sum. After all, camera's do not appear to do enough as it is to identify assailant's, so the person making the withdrawal could have his neighbor stand next to him in a threatening manner, only to receive half the money later that day for assisting in the heist. The exception to this outcome would of course be that the money has a homing beacon as described by RayfordSteele, in which case the money could not be spent, or held onto for a long period of time by the assailant. However, the pressing of such bills to supply every ATM machine on the globe would be quite an undertaking financially, not to mention, the device needed to track these bills, although, I am sure a satellite could be used for that purpose. Good day to you all.
LarsHomestead, Jun 22 2002

       Seems that since this idea was born, it has sort of been baked. The new security system we just got in the old castle (house) has an optional alternate "Duress code" for the keypad to disarm the alarm and still alert the police when the user is threatened. The panic PIN is a similar idea.
polartomato, Jun 22 2002

       The Panic PIN is the Mother of Invention, that's what it is.
thumbwax, Jul 27 2002

       Hang on, delivering guns on entry of a panic pin would be basically giving free guns to the criminal fleet of foot.   

       The panic PIN=PIN+1 idea is a good one, if user selectable panic PINs were available then it could be suggested that it should be some function (+ or - 1 on one digit) of your normal PIN.
Loris, Aug 07 2002

       Good idea. My home security system has a panic password that sounds a silent alarm to the police. This is similar. I like it.
heatherbell, Aug 12 2002

       Or even better, the bills have a skin-irritant that causes painful itching, swelling, and blistering on the thief's hands after a certain amount of time.
BinaryCookies, Aug 12 2002

       What if the person actually demands money with a threat of death if the police is called? As a viewer of Crimewatch in the UK (I am not sure of any equivalents in other countries), I know that these things can happen. Eventually the panic PIN will be found out about.
smokeyjohnson, Aug 13 2002

       Glad you liked my idea. US Patent 5731575.   

       The reason it is not embraced by the banking industry is that it would remind people that there can be danger at the ATM. As much as a quarter to a third or even more of the overall murder rate in the US is connected to a forced withdrawal at an ATM   

       For further info, check out www.atmsafetypin.com and http://www.legis.state.il.us/scripts/imstran.exe?LIBSINCWSB2042
JP_Strikes_Back, Aug 14 2002

       JP: Your murder statistics are *WAY* off. Also, congratulations on your patent, but this is *not* the same idea. Simply reversing a PIN will obviously not work for people with symmetrical PINs. Selecting an alternative Panic PIN is much superior, and properly makes this an opt-in program.   

       gen1000: I read the patent, which is opaque at best. My points still stand.
DrCurry, Aug 15 2002

       [DrCurry]: Did you not read the ATMSafetyPIN site? Symmetrical PINs are thoroughly dealt with on the site. Also, and a bit off-topic, I am surprised that you, the person who appears to delight in calling anything even remotely related to another idea "baked," are defending Panic PIN.
gen1000, Aug 15 2002

       [DrCurry], calling a patent 'opaque' doesn't at all change the fact that it exists.
watermelancholy, Aug 16 2002

       ADT security systems have done the Panic PIN idea for years. If someone is robbing your house and makes you enter the PIN number, you can just use the Panic number. (which can be anything you want, including the reverse of the real number).
kumpf, Aug 17 2002

       I started reading these posts, but about 1/8th of the way through I lost the will to live. This is a good idea, it does exist (of sorts) nowadays:   

       At work we have a security code, 1234, when people type in 1235 (which happens with alarming regularity) the police turn up 20 minutes later all angry. (Not too hard to remember to add 1 to your PIN?)   

       I think a better idea would be that when the panic pin is entered, a bulletproof shield-room is plonked around the person entering the number, they have a phone, bed, lazy-boy recliner, kitchen, mini bar, garage.... the would-be robber will get bored and go away.   

       Of course, thinking about it... after 2 hours you wouldn't be able to get to the ATM's anymore - they'd all be out-of-order cos homeless people have keyed-in wrong numbers just to get their own "home"   

Sylvor, Aug 29 2002

       Unfortunately, no one would remember their panic PIN, because its hard to remember things, ESPECIALLY when you are panicked. &however&, if the PIN panic number is the last four digits of people's social security number, nearly everyone would remember it!   

       The best part about the social security panic number is that banks already have the number, so they wouldn't have to deal with the expense of asking all of their customers for a new number.   

       Also, the idea to stamp the money in UV ink with "stolen" is a good idea, so long as the robber does not bring a UV light. The entire bill should be coated with a very thin layer of ink so that only a machine will be able to see it.
jamesxi, Sep 20 2002

       I have only just found this site, but this truly sounds like plausible idea. All great and innovative ideas have downfalls, but it is clear that the positives far outweigh any shortcomings. (The votes tell you this).   

       As an engineering designer, I’m interested to know whether the proposal has been taken further. If contact has been made with ATM companies or industrial designers to produce prototype dispensers or refine the concept. With the current climate on tackling crime in the UK recently, there would be no-end of interested parties. If someone has taken on this task, my self and I’m sure many others, would be interested in their progress or findings.   

gue, Sep 22 2002

       As far as remembering PIN's, a use a little trick. I write the PIN on the back of the card, after subtracting a "secret number" from it. I use the same secret number for all of my cards. For example, if my secret number was 101, and my PIN was 4352, I would write 4251 on the back of the card. Then, whenever I use the card, I just look at the number on the back and add 101 to it. Now I only have one number to remember!!
JohnnyOnTheSpot, Oct 05 2002

       but this idea is not about remembering pin numbers. you need to scroll up five miles and read the idea [johnny]
po, Oct 05 2002

       this idea is brilliant, one of the best ive ever heard, i think it would have a major impact on atm robberies and such.
digitalboss, Oct 11 2002

       call it the Don't Panic Pin, coz panic is the last thing you need in these kinda tensed situations..
BartJan, Nov 01 2002

       would you get a fine if you accidentally enter the PANIC PIN?
shelley2, Nov 04 2002

       If you are using the panic PIN to withdraw money, only to say later the robber was standing out of view of the camera and you want to be reimbursed for the withdrawl, you had better be fined for using the panic PIN. There's one slight problem with this idea ... will banks find a way to turn it into a monthly "panic PIN" fee, say $1.50?
heyduke, Nov 04 2002

       A truly superlative idea!   

       However, the "+1" method of coding the Panic PIN is flawed - the assailant would (as I'm sure someone mentioned earlier) simply subtract 1 from the number you gave them. If you gave them the Panic PIN, they would have put the correct number in and obtained the money.   

       Howsabout you just add 3 (for example) to *any* digit in your normal PIN - it still keeps your PIN pretty secure, but the perp wouldn't know which number you'd altered.
CheeseFilteredCigarette, Nov 15 2002

       How about just entering your regular pin number in reverse? Of course, I could see the probem if the pin was "2222". But the banks could request that you not choose a pin like that, just as some say do not use "0000" now.
drfowler, Nov 16 2002

       didn't have time to read the whole thing read only 2002's. don't understand why banks don't use this method.
drfowler, Nov 16 2002

       I suffer regular panic attacks and would welcome this as a crutch to help me face the unacceptable face of modern society.
lumbered ip, Nov 16 2002

       The only one of you meatbuckets that spelled the word PINs correctly (yes, I'm talking to you; it's not Pins, PINS, PIN's, pin's, or whatever else you can concoct) spelled the word "thieves" immediately afterward as "theives," having come to a stunning new conclusion along the lines of "i before e except after h." The above inflammatory remarks relate to the word ATMs as well. The apostrophe has NEVER and NEVER WILL BE used to indicate plurality! And yes, I joined this thing just to laugh at you and point. All of you. Now who wants a hug?
plain james, Dec 28 2002

       Hurrah for plain james! And bonus points for inspired use of, "Meatbuckets". You tell the bastard's!   

       (Never go back after the blue touch paper has been lit.)
friendlyfire, Dec 29 2002

       Apostrophes are quite properly used to indicate plurals of letters, digits, and symbols. The above sentence, for example, contains (if I counted right), six s's. The use of apostrophes to convert acronyms and other odd words to plural form is most likely an offshoot of this practice. Since the purpose of grammatical rules is to aid people in writing clearly and understandably, rather than to be an end unto themselves, I do not look down upon those who would write "PhD's" rather than "PhDs". Although such writing is not acknowledged in writing standards, having some form of punctuation between the abbreviation or acronym and its suffix can clarify things greatly.   

       By the way, if you were transcribing some dialogue among sports figures, would it be clearer to say that someone was "dequeued", "dee-queued", "DQed", or "DQ'ed". In a purely written context, the natural thing would be to write out "disqualified"; if one is transcribing someone who used the two-syllable utterance, however, how should one write it?   

       [BTW, the apostrophes in "ATM's" and "DQ'ed" aren't entirely nonsensical, as they could be said to represent the elision of "achine" or "ualifi", respectively.]
supercat, Dec 30 2002

       would you be able to enter your PIN number when you are in a panic?
NXM, Dec 30 2002

       I've seen panic PINs in use for building alarm systems. To turn off (or on) the alarm system, each card holder has an assigned PIN and ID number pair. If the alarm rings, there is an emergecncy phone number to call. The operator will ask for your ID number. On the matching ID card is a 16 digit number. If you are NOT UNDER THREAT, you are supposed to read only the first 15 digits on the card. if you are UNDER THREAT, you are supposed to read off all 16 digits, the whole numerical string, to the operator. In the latter case, the operator will turn the alarm off, and send help.   

       This system works quite well unless you are dealing with a criminal type who has done his / her homework on the alarm system.   

       This solves the problem of forgetting a second, PANIC PIN. The Panic PIN is written on the card.   

       It does not solve the problem of the well-informed intruder or thief.   

       For ATMs though, the ATM camera could take a higher rate of photos once the Panic PIN has been used.
clburke, Jan 10 2003

       When you compare the amount of money that is lost due to stolen credit cards to those poor soles who get robbed while withdrawing money at an ATM, you have to ask the question why don't all Visa, Amex and Master Cards make you put a pin number in when placing something on credit?   

       So when your friendly theif takes your wallet and goes down to the closest electronics store he or she will have a little trouble making a purchase.   

       I'm sure this would reduce credit card fraud considerably? Any thoughts?????   

       From the Chew Master!
chewy, Jan 11 2003

       I love this idea!   

       I'm not sure if someone hasn't aready said this, but, could this idea be applied to phone numbers? I can never think of a good fake one in a pinch.
pluterday, Jan 11 2003

       I dont think there would be any point in have a 'P' for panic on the keypad because the bloody theif would tell you that a simple press of that button would cost you six bullets in the back of the head - few would call their bluff!   

       The two pin number idea is the best becuase there is no way of the theif knowing!   

       Chew Master - any thoughts on the PIN number for credit cards I wrote about????
chewy, Jan 12 2003

       //I'm not sure if someone hasn't aready said this, but, could this idea be applied to phone numbers? I can never think of a good fake one in a pinch//   

       If you're really evil use the customer service number for PayPal. Tell them you work in complaints.   

       That's the equivalent of 1-800-F*CK*FF*ND*D**.
FloridaManatee, Jan 13 2003

       dunno if this has been offered up yet but what if the ATM customer forgets his regular PIN and has to use the panic PIN. Or better yet what if someone does it as a prank ya know like "the boy who cried wolf"?? what would be the legal ramifications of that scenario?
UHF, Jan 16 2003

       This panic idea is flawless! To people who are against it, you just don't get it... Read again. About the mark bill, that means a physical modification to the machine, it's not that good. But for the help and increase in the resolution, ride on! You should go forward with this idea. For people who got beaten at 3AM nowhere by nobody...
mading25, Jan 21 2003

       Thief knows that the person DEFINITELY uses panic PIN. What does this lead to? To even more severe threat...   

       Anyway good, and as good as the existence of panic PIN is secret rare...
Inyuki, Jan 23 2003

       They would beat both numbers out of you
dustycoco, Jan 24 2003

       Great idea
handwriter, Apr 02 2003

       The idea of a second pin, preferably using a variant of the first pin so it wouldn't be necessary to remember it, is good.   

       And giving a lesser balance - a Ferrari driver with a bank balance of < $100? Thieves would get highly suspicious, and considering the high murder assault rate already, angering them would not be a good idea.   

       Instead, there is already a daily withdrawal limit - the second pin merely gets the ATM to indicate that the daily withdrawal limit was reached, and also blocks the card (the same as the AutoStop card available for some banks)
weevil, Apr 07 2003

       I like it! 317 for! (doesn't this thing ever go over 2 1/2 croissants?)
:-), Apr 09 2003

       no, smiley. I,too, keep waiting for fireworks and the earth to move but thats another story :)
po, Apr 09 2003

       That's the panic inn
bristolz, Apr 09 2003

       [po] next time November 5th and an earthquake co-incide is Nov 2012, bit of a wait for you......
silverstormer, Apr 09 2003

       Okay... I'm changing my vote.   

       See, the problem is this:
A crook (/robber/thief/etc) is under a great deal of stress. He (or she) has do deal with knowing that what they are doing is "wrong", the danger of getting caught, as well as whatever "drove them" to this stage of breaking the law.

       Essentially take the worst paranoid you know, and multiply by 10.   

       Being robbed is not a "Tom & Jerry" matter. No joking playful relationship, no chummy banter, and absolutly nothing that would aggrivate the matter further.   

       That is why we do whatever we are told to do by the robber - because if we don't, that person will likely explode.   

       Now, with this idea, the problem is that we are adding to the stress of the hostile party. They now *also* have to worry about whether we are telling the truth.   

       Possibilites of what could happen:
(1) You give the thief the "panic pin".
a: the thief believes you
i) the police arrive and he gets caught :-)
ii) the police arrive and it turns into a hostage situation
1 - but he is caught
2 - it escalates and you are killed
iii) he escapes before the police arrive
1 - and is later identified/caught
2 - and is never seen again
b: the thief doesn't believe you and threatens/hurts you
i) until you give up and give him the correct pin
ii) until you convince him (very unlikely)
iii) until he gets annoyed and kills you.
(2) You give the thief the correct pin
a: and the thief believes you, gets the money, and gets away. You (almost always) survive. (this is what happens now without the "panic pin" idea)
b: and the thief doesn't believe you and threatens/hurts you
i) until you give up and give him the panic pin. (Umm, I *don't* this this would happen outside of a movie.)
ii) until you convince him (very unlikely)
iii) until he gets annoyed and kills you.

       Note that I did not include any possibilities that included any "tip offs" such as extra delay, limited funds, or marked bills. Each of these things is extremely dangerous for both the lying and the truthful victim. Extra delay can be real (sometimes transactions just take longer) or imagined (adrenaline causes all sorts of problems). Limited funds could be real (you could be poor - but try telling that to someone with a gun who thinks you gave them the wrong PIN). Marked bills.... Well, sometimes the machine gives new, crisp bills - all in serial number order. To someone looking for marked bills that looks pretty suspicious.   

       Anyway, those situations should be the most common. Of those, disregarding the most implausible, you are hurt/injured/threatened or killed in 60% of the situations. The thief is caught in 30% of the situations. (and that's without any "countermeasures")   

       In other words, if the "panic pin" plan even exists, you are twice as likely to be hurt as the thief is to get caught.   

       You are 60% likely to be hurt. That would probably be over 90% if you include any "tip offs"   

       And those are odds that I do not want to play.   

:-), Apr 10 2003

       Some businesses have fine water sprays that spray intruders wuth UV water. This could be implemented as part of the Panic PIN procedure. A jet to the side of the ATM sprays all and sundry with the UV water. Police only then need look for the bright glowing guy (under UV light). Of course the down side is that you too will be covered but that's better than nothing. This would only work in conjuction with the other annotated ideas as you have to catch the guy first (traced bills etc.) Plus if the UV water was somehow permanent (removed only with a solution available at police stations) then it could be a while later that the guy gets caught and still be identifiable. On that note each 'water' could be DNA coded so that the water matches to the specific ATM where it occurred.   

       So. Anyone want to pay for the increased bank charges to pay for this?
AJCrowley, Apr 16 2003

       \\That is why we do whatever we are told to do by the robber - because if we don't, that person will likely explode\\ Does this count as murder, self defence or suicide?
silverstormer, Apr 16 2003

       I agree with mr smily up there (mrs smiley????), surely it is far more sensible to set a sensible daily withdrawl limit (who ever needs more than say £50 cash from an atm??? any more can be gotten from over the counter!) this would reduce the thief's paranoia, and worst case scenario is you lose £50!!!
MikeOliver, Apr 22 2003

       I disagree with the person directly above me. In America, at least, the idea of getting money over-the-counter is useless. There are ATM's in supermarkets, where there isn't a counter. Sometimes you do need to draw more than say $50. Or any amount really. It's a pretty good idea (the alt. PIN), because you can still withdraw any amount you'd actually need, even if it is a lot.
bricey_wicey, Apr 23 2003

       The person above (and now below) you has a name! Can you not pay for your shopping with your switch (maybe not in america), visa, mastercard, AMEX or *insert US equivilent here*??? I pay for everything with switch, and another benefit is it stops me spending loose change on crap (sweeties etc...), as well as giving me a nice neat record of every transaction on my monthly statement!
MikeOliver, Apr 24 2003

       I concurr with the person above, the person above. There are times when more than say £50 is required and switch (or its equivalent) is not an option.
silverstormer, Apr 24 2003

       I'd forgotten there was a limit with switch, its more that 50 though. like MO I do all my shopping with switch.
po, Apr 29 2003

       Unless I missed this item in the long list of comments, the way to avoid the Panic PIN is easy for the criminal. Wait until after the person sticks their card in the machine and entered their PIN. Also, I don't believe banks will improve their cameras. There is no incentive for them. They haven't lost any money, you have. They only lose it the entire ATM is stolen. Otherwise, not a bad idea.
skeptic, May 02 2003

       I think that this Idea, modified, could be used by banks catering to people with more money than I have by using this system: a 2 digit panic PIN then the number 5 and then a number which indicates the position of the hostile person near you. (behind you to your right would be 9). The camera locates the human form and then fires a very fast acting tranquilizer at your would be mugger. If the mugger insists that he take your card and wants to enter the PIN him (or her) self you give them your 2 digit panic PIN and then 55. The Police will then show up and haul the sleeping crook away after you take all the money in thier wallet.
Zimmy, May 03 2003

       Idea generally good. I'd say have the opt-in panic PIN being both +1 and -1 of your "actual" PIN, so that it makes it makes it hard to guess as a theif if you should use a given number, or an adjacent one. There is the problem of this making it vastly easier to guess a PIN, however, now 2/3rds of the guess will lead to investigation.   

       I'd ensure that the PIN be entered as the first interaction with the machine, so that you've likely got 30 seconds of further interaction, at least.   

       Ultimately though, as a fellow (?) New Zealander said above, the best path forward is the eradiaction of ATM machines for EFTPOS terminals and Cellphone payments.
phobo, May 11 2003

       Maybe as a start there could be a "911" pin number like maybe 9111 that would be a generic panic code to tell the ATM to send help fast.   

       You could type it in, then act like you made a mistake and type in your real pin, hoping the crook doesn't notice what you typed the first time.   

       If crooks no you can easily call for help by just typing in a quick code ... they might think twice before trying to pull something using an ATM.   

       Or they will get smart ... ask for your real code ahead of time ... and just shoot you!
Zorcon, May 17 2003

       In my neighborhood with our state (California) and local budget problems, the police response time to an emergency is around 23 minutes. I don't know when they might get around to responding to an ATM but chances are everyone would be long gone. Most people around here are also completely without any type of health care. At rush hour all of the cars on the freeway are just sitting at a standstill. Our local representatives have just raised our taxes again and voted themselves a raise. Maybe we could come back to this Panic Pin idea when things get a little better just for priority reasons.
maniacr, May 17 2003

       How would ypu deal with false alarms?
The Beaner, May 31 2003

       It would have to be a standard pin that every customer is aware of, such as 999 or 911; it's hard enough remembering your usual pin number, let alone having to remember a special one whilst under duress.
a121509, Jun 04 2003

       ATM's should be equipped with a system, that regardless of a second PIN number, it should automatically respond to a crisis (report to police, take high res pictures, etc,.) but it should also allow ATM's to release no more than say $ 20-. If that doesn't work, then I suggest avoid ATM's at all, and use the good old check, or plastic money.
7 down, Jun 10 2003

       As we approach the 3rd anniversary of this seminal suggestion I just wondered if anyone had got any further than talking about it on these esteemed pages.   

       Also I thought it would be nice to become the 87th person to suggest using a 9111 panic pin without thinking it through.   

       Smasing site this, just meandering around and enjoying it very much, sorry for sounding cynical - my voluntary unemployment is losing its novelty value.
runsdownhills, Jun 17 2003

       If the panic PIN is PIN+1, then make it also PIN-1, so if the theif demands the PIN and enters what you said, minus 1...   

       I think the best idea is the one of a 'shadow' account which looks very empty if you enter the Panic PIN.   

       The problem with the marking of bills when the panic PIN is entered is that the theif may well carry the means to read the marks (even a UV lamp) and show this to the victim, informing the victim that if he enters the panic PIN and the theif get marked bills, then the violence will follow.   

       So the banks are out of that one.   

       Remembering that all bills are numbered, the ATMs could remember which bills were issued to which card (maybe they do already?) so the theif could possibly be traced that way..   

       But all this isn't going to happen- as said above, the banks are quite happy with the status quo.   

       Within the existing system if we all did the following, this crime would disappear:   

       Write to your bank requiring them to put a $40 max limit on withdrawals per day. Require them to send you a letter informing you that this had been done. Or better still, mark the (low) max on the card.   

       Show the evidence of the trivial potential haul to the theif, maybe he won't bother and move on to something else.   

       Do most transactions paperless, credit cards etc.   

       Credit cards should have pictures of the holder on them!
RusNash, Jun 18 2003

       We have a panic PIN on our keypad doors at work as we found out when someone inadvertantly typed 0 before their PIN and security came rushing to their assistance (I say rushing, but this is in relative terms for our security guards, being around 20 minutes). It's a good idea - but in our case it would be so much better if they'd told us the option existed. And if people acted on it quickly.
hazel, Jun 19 2003

       I realize the Panic Pin has limitations. Truly aggresive muggers will find a way. See [Link].
k_sra, Jun 23 2003

       It's a great idea. Take it from someone who's been robbed!
RealisticThinker, Jul 02 2003

       hi laddies (are there ANY ladies out there ?),   

       i have a little suggestion : dress down.   

       you know, don't buy really nice clothes/shoes. don't walk with pride/arrogance/swaggery. don't shower every 8 hours. body perfume only. no rolex/PDA/3G etc etc definitely no ironing !   

       then muggers will not think you have any cash.   

       problem averted ?   

       the panic pin has 100% got to swallow the card. and the panic PIN should not be something OBVIOUS, or the attacker will see you type in 9111 or 1112 or whatever, and know you are faking it.   

       but it does also have to give out some cash to save your life. no trouble to remember a PIN : any number that's NOT your REAL PIN on a 3 strikes you're out basis.   

       so, as i'm in line for the hole-in-the-wall, someone threatens me : under stress i cannot type my correct PIN : he (invariably a male) forces me to re-try and i protest i am trying...if he continues to stress me out i cannot remember my PIN...so he has to chill in order to get the dosh (lucre).   

       makes for calmer, more humane theft ? i mean, if they have to do it, they have to do it : but at least you can try to implement a strategy to keep them reasonable or they won't get what they want...   

       or i get my PIN wrong 3 times, and he gets a MINIMUM amount of cash, and the card is swallowed, and some alarm has been sounded and he knows he'll have to scarper (leave the scene sharpish), so less chance of a recriminatory attack.
josiebelle, Jul 04 2003

       This is definitly one of the best ideas I've seen on here. Don't hate the player, hate the game.   

       I've worked with a product development company called Idealine in Cincy Ohio. They made me a lot of money. Check them out...they're the real deal. Peace out people.
KnowItAll, Jul 15 2003

       I am sorry to always bother the rest of the bakers with my comparisons between my country and others. I can't help it, but sometimes the world doesn't work the same way everywhere.   

       This Panic PIN thing sounds like an intelligent idea for first world countries, where the police department's aim is to protect the citizens, but this would never be of any help in Mexico or any other third world country.   

       I can't believe nobody has mentioned the possibility of the police not having enough time to make it to the ATM before the thieves leave. I mean, the lapse of time after entering the PIN and getting the money is too short for the cops to get there in time.   

       And even if the ATM distributed marked bills... how can you track them? Even if they did, the thief can always say somebody gave him that bill.   

Pericles, Jul 20 2003

       I don't know how I could go trough ALL of the comments (it took me almost 2 hours, English is not even my first language), but I did it. Why people don't read all the comments before typing anything in? They would make other users save a lot of time, avoiding them to read hundreds of time the same comment. And the discussion would be more interesting and useful. BTW the idea is great, even if in other countries (as Italy for instance) we DON'T have ATM robberies. May be it would be interesting to investigate why (probably we have other kind of deterrents, but I don't know them).
zipdesign, Jul 22 2003

       Over here in Europe, they are on about electronically tagging the notes themselves, so they can be gps monitored. Seems all that is required is to set the "Stolen" flag to "1" on these and just track the crim's pocket.   

       More here: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/030523/36/e0npu.html
J i m s t e r, Aug 04 2003

       this is a stroke of genius! :)
bmwrox, Aug 06 2003

       (Is there an unspoken 'Newbies must immediately annotate the Panic Pin idea' rule I missed? Wait, I probably did it too..)//   

       I’m guessing its because most visitors to the site head straight for the "best" section... then, unfortunately, do not read the previous posts :*( I think me and the Italian guy collectively wasted approx. 2.5 hours of time that could have been used so creatively. oh well.   

       A simple one digit change to your PIN would be the "Panic PIN". Does not matter which number is changed and it would not be difficult to remember under pressure (if ever remembering a PIN is) .... this would trigger a series of processes that result in only a small amount of cash able to be withdrawn (or the machine informs you that you've reached the daily withdrawal limit). If you get it wrong by accident (and input "a" panic pin, remember its only getting the PIN incorrect by one digit) then for your stupidity you are punished by only being able to withdraw $50 or less.   

       ....er, thinking about it though this would mean that you would never get the standard three tries before the card is swallowed. However, you should never need this anyway, I mean how difficult is it to remember four numbers?   

       As for the marked bills, guns, tranquilizers and tazor weapon dispenser ideas, it would never work. (but I’m sure this has already been said so I’ll cease)   

       ...anyway, great idea etc...
bernardo, Aug 07 2003

XKAL, Aug 10 2003

       What mcfrank said, July 24, 2000. Crime is not rationally motivated, so logical preventitive measures won't work. If criminals were rational, they wouldn't commit crime. Big Fat Fishbone.
oxen crossing, Aug 13 2003

       //how difficult is it to remember four numbers?//   

       //the panic pin could just be your regular one backwards//   

       to that i say that there are those of us out here that have 10, yes *10* numbers for our pins, and while i could certainly add a number on either side, i really couldnt reverse it no matter how hard i tried!
palisandra, Aug 13 2003

       The panic # could be the same for anyone, something simple and characteristic like 9111 It's that or banks would have to suddenly create room for TWICE as many pin #'s ! Go fig. ballinalad2003@yahoo.com
Siward, Aug 20 2003

       Why can't they just put a panic button on the ATM machine itself instead of coding hundreds of thousands of Panic PIN numbers into the computer system. The victim could trigger a silent alarm, unkown to the thief, and not have to try to remember that other PIN in a life threatening situation.
allie8962, Aug 20 2003

       [allie8962] Why can't they just put a panic button on the ATM machine   

       well, because the guy with the gun to your head can see the panic button and doesn't really want you to press it ...
jugglerBoy, Sep 11 2003

       very good
Turkish, Sep 11 2003

       New users take note: in addition to be the long-time vote champion of the bakery, this idea was posted by a user who had joined the bakery that very day. WTAGIPBAN.
krelnik, Oct 09 2003


       Our standard office security system is pretty dated and off-the-shelf technology, which already features this.   

       Just add 1 to your PIN number, and enter that, and it calls the security agency. So... nice idea, but just a few years late!
the_jxc, Oct 09 2003

       While I was reading this I came up with an alternate solution. The order in which the numbers appear on the screen should change at every use. Everyone could have the same emergency number but it wil look different to a person watching the other put their "pin" in. Also, when getting money normaly people don't have to worry about a "friend" accidentally remembering their pin. Oh well, just a thought.
PYRO, Oct 24 2003

       Hmmm... well, MY question is: If you use the Panic PIN at an ATM not directly associated with your home bank, will you still be responsible for paying the surcharge fee?
verTigo, Oct 26 2003

       In South America they usually just hold someone else hostage and the other criminal takes the cardholder to the machines.
isoga, Nov 11 2003

       John... excellent idea.
nomadic_wonderer, Nov 13 2003

       EVERYONE, this idea was copyrighted in 1991 by myself and two partners (Fann, Oglesby, Thomas) under the name Public Panic Alert. While marketing the idea, it was decided by the banking world that since less than .01 percent of the transactions resulted in a robbery, it was a solution waiting for a problem. In 1996, it was retooled and remarketed as ATM Alert by besttechs.com, Inc. It included a link to the 911 systems of most states and a direct link to a major alarm monitoring company. Once again, the banks resisted and, instead, made sure that the legal requirements in most states relied on more physical "solutions" (i.e., lighted areas, enclosed buildings, etc.).   

       Reverse PINS cannot work on most ATM networks. the logic used to calculate and validate your PIN is contained within the DES routine and the PIN entered is not checked. The "PIN" you entered is converted to a 16 digit cryptogram based on static info available at transaction time (i.e., your embossed card number, a four digit number encoded on your mag stripe, a static 16 digit key loaded into the ATM or network (Star, Interlink, etc.) and all of this is fed into the DES routine. The result is either yes or no (does the 16 chars generated match what the routine says it should be).   

       Our system, however, accounted for all this by altering the data fed into the routine to make it interpret the data differently. this resulted in altered PINs being workable. Our system allowed you to add or subtract 1-9 from any digit of your PIN and make that you Panic Pin. No software changes were needed at the ATM. Minor changes were needed at the Issuer's mainframe.   

       Unfortunately, the patent office turned around and allowed someone else to get a patent on the same idea.   

       All is dead now.
dolarbil, Dec 03 2003

       Ding dong the pin is dead?
k_sra, Dec 03 2003

       If you activate the pin and the gun men heres the cops coming chances are your dead. If its world wide knnown it would have to be more suttle like acamera recording so that you were in know iminent danger.
northstar, Jan 07 2004

       dolarbil, patents are usually invalidated when "prior art" can be shown. get a patent lawyer.
xivaro, Jan 08 2004

       I Think this would not be a bad thing....panic pin is a good idea for those who loose the number and what not
Quicksilver, Jan 24 2004

       Excellent idea!
maabbott88, Feb 21 2004

       if i had suggested this i would have gotten 3 fish bones by now
stinkycheese, Feb 21 2004

       THIS HAS GOT TO BE ONE OF THE BEST IDEAS ON HALFBAKERY.COM. Robbers would thinks twice about holding up people withdrawing from ATMs. Its a Godforsaken Wonder that NOBODY has implemented it yet.
mailtosalonga, Apr 06 2004

       Good idea, but banks wouldn't want to advertise that their ATMs are pontential locations for crime. In theory(+), in practice(-).
whatastrangeperson, Apr 09 2004

       580 in total, mines #516 in favour.   

       This is a brilliant idea (I wonder how many other folks have said that?)   

       must be one of the longest running too!
Herbicide, Apr 14 2004

       I am having a real tough time understanding how this is so obviously baked (having followed a few links, and read a few annos) yet the majority of annos seem to completely ignore this fact.
Yes it's a good idea, but if it already exists, why are we even discussing it? Can any moderators shed a little light on the situation...
MikeOliver, Apr 14 2004

       {+} I guess. But - to the fact that I just read the whole list of annons. WHY?!?!   

       The real travesty here is the length of this Halfbakery.   

       also, I feel real bad like for Dolarbil.   

       and yes im a scrub. hello.
TrippingRose, Apr 17 2004

       Good concept! The only problem that I see happening is that most people would not remember their "panic PIN" since you would never used it unless you are being robbed.... and that does not happen often. If nowadays people forget their everyday passwords (since we all have so many) imagine one that we don't use in years!!
luisposh, Jun 16 2004

       5 +++++ idea !!   

       When such a pin is used, the bank can show only $100-$120 (variable everytime) account balance.   

       So people remember the panic pin, it would be the same as pin but in reverse: 1234 versus 4321
Porsche911, Jun 17 2004

       I think the people that voted against this idea have to be the people that rob you at the ATM...
kranedawg, Jun 23 2004

       Either that or people who think that you may end up typing the wrong pin yourself and having the police descend on mass.
engineer1, Jun 24 2004

       Or people who have some kind of vendetta against [johng] perhaps.
harderthanjesus, Jun 24 2004

       I can't believe this damn thing has popped up AGAIN, quite aside from the somewhat impractical nature of the idea.
Eugene, Jun 25 2004

       Impracticle eh, [Eugene]? Weelllll, let's see: 535 peope like, 70 people dislike... you'd think all 535 would have noticed this inpracticality, wow!
kranedawg, Jun 25 2004

       I'm lazy...I don't want to read all these comments- but I'll add 2 more comments/questions   

       If the reverse pin is the Panic one, I guess my pin number of 4444 is right out?   

       And what is the statistic of how many people get held up at ATMs? I don't know any person who knows anyone else who has ever been robbed this way. How big of a deal is this?
macncheesy, Jun 25 2004

       I was held up at an ATM. I got lucky, though. Right as I was being held up, an off-duty cop walked in. The jacka** tried to run, but he tried to open the thick glass "pull" door with his face, and ended up flat on his back. He wouldn't have gotten anything anyway, since I had a grand total of $6 in my account.
Freefall, Jun 25 2004

       That's funny [Freefall]!
kranedawg, Jun 25 2004

       great minds hey. I made a comment in the 3 four digit number article on the use of cameras, having not read this. ;) but then it's obvious really. So why hasn't it been done? well banks would have to pay loads for all them upgrade cameras and hey they don't give a flying monkeys if the odd one gets picked off! Soon enough though with the floor dropping on the prices of cameras ccd's they'll be everywhere! OOOh (gives his best Mulder impression) BLANK
not-arf, Jun 25 2004

       Here's why I think the idea is impractical.   

       1. In all likelihood, the police would not get there in time. When an alarm goes off in my neighborhood, the cops don't show up for about five hours or so. If there were some way to prevent false alarms (which is why the cops don't take house alarms seriously) when the ATM user mistakenly keys in their panic PIN instead of their regular, and to speed up police response...   

       Even if they did haul ass, in all probability they wouldn't get there in time.   

       2. False alarms would lower police response time.   

       3. The cost of higher resolution cameras would be prohibitive.   

       4. Thieves would go for the ATMs not configured for Panic PIN use.   

       5. Thieves would cover their faces and carry on with the robbery. Then they'd walk (if you run they chase you) away with the cash, changing their appearance (put on a hat, turn the jacket inside out, take off the jacket, etc) and get off the street. Admittedly, this is a smart thief, but there are a few of 'em out there.   

       That's about all the reasons I could think of. The first two were my initial reasons for saying the idea was impractical. The last two aren't so much reasons as ways of getting past it. The third I stole.
Eugene, Jun 29 2004

       Very good idea. Super duper!
Whitepirate, Jul 10 2004

       why not just set it up so that there's an option for a panic button on the touch screen... either punch in 911 as your pin (same panic pin for everyone) or maybe there's a "report a problem" which would instantly connect the camera to an ADT style monitoring center... or maybe just a microphone on the ATM... that way you don't have to remember another number, you just swipe your card and cry for help or whatever, slapping the help button on-screen, or punching in 911 as your pin. ? sound ok?   

       or maybe a press and hold option, where if you press and hold the cancel button it automatically tells someone something's gone awry. There's innumerable ways to implement this system, but basically you're looking at a "$#!t's hit the fan here, help!" IF you're in a situation where you're unable to call the police and let them know your pin has been coerced out of you, then you're probbably not too terribly worried that someone is going to take all your money... you're either dead or imprisoned by the bugger, and the police will find you if anyone gives a rip, tries to find you and can't, and reports you missing.... they'll follow your atm and POS transactions to the bad guy. Which is one reason i don't mind my ATM transactions being monitored. Try this... don't use your ATM for a week, point of sale or anything, then go 200 miles out of your way and make half a dozen purchases, and don't make any purchases for another week except maybe a full tank of gas as your last purchase... you'll get a phone call. Even better, drive 200 miles, buy a gun, some clothes, and some food, and then alot of gas. You'll definitely get a phone call.
orionblade2003, Jul 10 2004

       When the fake PIN is entered, have the ATM call the police, distribute phoney money, so that the person never has to worry about their money going missing. People will only be inclined to use the panic PIN when they are in real trouble, as there is no financial incentive to use it. It could prevent fraud in some cases.
CokoBWare, Jul 20 2004

       panic PIN takes money out of a central loss fund not your account. Just some vetting before you get one. And if they catch the thieves, great.
Turbomotive, Jul 31 2004

       this is a good idea. Stamping a message in UV ink is not a bad idea, as is spraying UV ink in a fine mist when the panic PIN is entered. As for police response time: at the ATM I usually use, there is a bank-card-activated lock on the booth door; you can only get in by using your bank card, and nobody else can enter once the door is closed (solving the parent with child problem). If for some reason the door malfunctions, there is a little red dot situated in front of the screen that you can press if someone is trying to steal your money. As there is a police dispatch center next to the bank, the would-be robber gets a free ride in a police car.
dm01, Aug 23 2004

       It's doubly unfair that, not only do these old ideas retain their votes, but since the bakery has forgotten who voted on what, they can be voted on twice!
ldischler, Oct 05 2004

       It's not entirely doubly unfair unless you (we all) plan on buying into your conviction.
yabba do yabba dabba, Oct 05 2004

       You're forgetting Mr Ldischler, that they can also be voted against twice.   

       <evil cackle, scrolls up to join minority group>
wagster, Oct 05 2004

       I really doubt that we are allowed to vote twice and so because my vote is presently set at neutral, I will vote again for the rather wonderful Mr Modest JohnG.
po, Oct 05 2004

       Wow! Just looked at his user page - not only modest, but 50% of his ideas are the best ever (or so it is deemed). I wonder where he's gone?
wagster, Oct 06 2004

       simple and brilliant, and yet to my knowledge no bank has seriously thought about this... even though it should be a competitive advantage to the bank, no?
bother, Feb 23 2005

       I thought of this idea a while ago, but 2 things - one, the forced reveal "I will kill you if you give me the wrong PIN." and 2, the thought that your bank/credit card companies might not reimburse you for loss unless you use the PanicPIN - you know some of them would require it.
trekbody, Feb 23 2005

       //What if you simply made the Panic PIN the reverse of your actual PIN.//   

       What if your PIN is a palindrome? And what if you ended questions with question marks instead of periods?   

       The "give me the real PIN or I'll kill you" argument doesn't seem to hold much water. There's absolutely no way the criminal in question can know whether it's your real PIN or not. Yeah, they may be able to play on someone's irrational fears of death when they have no way of verifying---but that would really be rather moot if there were some kind of tracking device on the money as has been suggested.   

       Normally I oppose tracking-device ideas as potential 1984isms, but since this involves voluntary use of a service that you don't *need* to use to get money from your account, I'm all for this.
disbomber, Apr 19 2005

       I had the exactly the same idea, just five years later ;-)   

       Maybe it's also an idea to add another two extra false PIN numbers, one smaller than the real PIN and one greater than te real PIN.   

       When a brute force attempt is made to find the real PIN, chances are that the one of the false PINs is discovered are before the real PIN is found.
mdbijl, Nov 08 2005

       Too lazy to read *all* the annotations.   

       I see a problem with this right away. The mugger simply has to ask you for both your PIN and your Panic PIN. He then says "I'm going to enter both of them. If the first one has a lower limit than the second, I'm going to kill you. Now which one is your real PIN?"   

       And then you're screwed. Even if he kills you, he can still run away, but given a threat like that I think most people will just give up the money.   

       One fix to this problem would be for your your daily limit to be set to something lower than your panic limit the moment the Panic PIN is used. However, if your daily limit was $10, *I'd* be suspicious...and kill you anyway.
victor, Jan 24 2006

       Ah, then simply tell him the panic-panic-PIN!
Dub, Jan 24 2006

       The panic pin concept is a great idea in theory but unfortunately it will never be implemented by a bank.   

       The bank has no regard for you or your personal safety all they care about is your/their money. This is what they are trying to protect not you.   

       Under the current system with a max daily limit of say $1000 the bank will not process any insurance claim if your money is really stolen (would cost them more than $1000 in insurance levy's and paperwork ) but if you want your money back you will need to fight the banks and prove to them your money was really stolen. Banks are not going to pay unless proof is provided so either you will have to provide a police report, fill out claim forms and make multiple phone calls or just give up.   

       If the bank provides a panic pin capability every time the panic pin is used then I would assume the card owner would say to the bank the money was taken out under force and I can prove that since I used the panic pin so I am not personally liable. This makes it much easier for you to make a claim on the bank and it also exposes the bank to possible fraud (simply use the panic pin and say you were robbed).
Braindead, Mar 22 2006

       maybe it could activate a series of security cameras to make id ing your assailant easier
wakeNbake, Mar 22 2006

       [Braindead], I'm not certain on the practice where you are, but why is it that the bank would be liable if your money was stolen by a third party?
hidden truths, Mar 22 2006

       Goddamnit this again! Seriously, I'm very tired of seeing this idea. I don't know why it strikes me as so annoying right now, but it does.   

       Tell you what'll make you feel safer at the ATM: a Glock.
Eugene, Mar 22 2006

       In whose hands, [Eugene]?
methinksnot, Mar 22 2006

       Hey, it's just 4 buns away from +300, we might as well let it reach that never-before-reached target.
Mr Phase, Mar 23 2006

       I've always liked this idea but don't think I ever bunned it. So will do that now if it helps to reach the miraculous 300
juanmanandez, Mar 23 2006

       I converted my negative to a postive in the spirit of giving :-)
Braindead, Mar 23 2006

       I really think that something this positive should be granted "three croissant" status :)
phundug, Mar 23 2006

       Didn't this have almost 500+ (before the crash)?
DesertFox, Mar 23 2006

       Over. See link.
hidden truths, Mar 23 2006

       I clicked on that link, and for a little while, I was stuck in the old HB. It was a little trippy.
notmarkflynn, Mar 23 2006

       Preferably in my own.
Eugene, Mar 25 2006

       Looks like we've hit the magical +300. Funny, I didn't really expect this to gain many votes by being on the recent page. I thought that placing a vote on Panic PIN was just part of setting up an account.   

       Edit: Not on 300 any more. Hadn't seen the link showing bakedness before and have removed my vote.   

       Edit again: There it is. Credit to [JuJuHound] by the look of it.
hidden truths, Mar 26 2006

       Wow...this entry is fucking old. still cool. It kind of seems like theres not much to discuss anymore though. I think that whta, six years, of pondering its uses would be enough to decide whether or not the big companies are going to bake this one.
JuJuHound, Mar 26 2006

       Rather late be now, but WTAGIPBAN.
dbmag9, Jun 01 2006

       I have added a link to a Snopes article recently written about this idea.
nilstycho, Oct 15 2006

       [nilstycho] Nice stuff - perhaps an improvement might be to just reverse the last 2 PIN digits, and instead/as well as informing the police, extra CCTV in the area could be activated/trained on the ATM and escape routes.   

       (Can we attach a bell to this, too?)
Dub, Oct 15 2006

       To make it easy to remember, just have it be your regular pin, but backwards
cashonly, Jul 15 2007

       I wish I had a panic pin every time I saw this thing come to the top again... beep--119.
xandram, Jul 15 2007

       Now that we have Chip'n'Pin everywhere the risk of being conned into putting your pin into a fake machine that has been rigged to harvest your pin number increases. Such a machine is unlikely to be really able to verify your pin - its sole job is to collect your pin for later use in cash machines that still read the (easily cloned) stripe when they cannot read the chip. So, these machines will be simply rigged to take your pin. Ergo - always type a wrong pin first. Real machine will ask you to re-type. Fake machine will accept it and you will a) know its a phoney and b) get whatever it was you were buying for free!
Karnuvap, Jul 17 2007

       [Beep]: The idea is still halfbaked, it is only baked if it is invented and widely known.   

       Anyway, good to see the best idea on HB back around. Hopefully a few more people can bun it each time.
Germanicus, Jul 18 2007

       Wouldn't the smirk on my face maybe alert the gunman to my distress relief, and thereby cause the gunman to take evasive action?
quantum_flux, Jul 18 2007

       I'm with [xandram] on this idea... As far as practicalities are concerned, as soon as it becomes widely known that such a scheme exists, would be robbers will advise their victims that any entry of their "panic pin" will result in a return visit of their vengeful associates, complete with weapons of limb removal.   

       Some of the friends I grew up with subsequently became paramilitaries. These folk know no limits, and enjoy their "work". The idea is therefore naive and irritating, so I'm adding another bone to the pile.
xenzag, Jul 18 2007

       Naive, maybe. Irritating, how?
Germanicus, Jul 19 2007

       It's irritating because according to its vote count, it's the most popular idea on the Halfbakery. I think this is an injustice to the many other much cleverer, funnier, more deserving notions.
xenzag, Jul 19 2007

       I've been looking for a reason to [m-f-d] it, both for the reasons that [xenzag] gives and because I would like Hullaballoon to be the first thing that newbies click on - it's just so much more imaginative. Sadly I can think of no ground for an [m-f-d]. I wonder if [jutta] might consider replacing the rather static best list with a best list showing only ideas from the last twelve months.
wagster, Jul 19 2007

       I love the mythology behind panic pin. newbie posts 1st idea and wanders off completely unaware that it becomes our no 1 idea. returns some time later (just the once I believe - totally gobsmacked - and last seen heading for pastures new under a setting sun (or baked croissant - whatever) I'm sure Bris appreciated the irony too.   

       the votes are from newbies and oldies alike and in my humble opinion should not be messed with.
po, Jul 19 2007

       Fair dinkum.
wagster, Jul 19 2007

       Still gobsmacked, btw.
johng, Sep 22 2007

       This idea is intresting. I give it a bun. This was on the HB best list, wasn't it? What happened to that list anyway?
Shadow Phoenix, Sep 22 2007

       I still have the best list but for some reason younger hbers don't have it, jutta did explain at some point but as I am so old and crusty I forget...   

po, Sep 22 2007

       //The idea is therefore naive// No it isn't. I think it's a very good idea - its only handicap is that is sensible and feasible. So, I'm bunning it. Ha. [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 22 2007

       I think the Best list is only available when you are logged out.
krigre55, Nov 28 2007

       //I think the Best list is only available when you are logged out.//   

       yeah, why is that??   

       [Po] where did you come up with that mythology??
simonj, Nov 28 2007

       The list:

(+330, -53) Panic PIN
(+208, -13) Hullaballoon
(+137, -4) evil laugh activated hand dryer
(+197, -71) Tails For All
(+142, -17) Custard-Filled Speed Bumps
(+165, -41) Cream Cheese Rings
(+131, -17) carrymehome.com
(+122, -10) Flocking Road Cones
(+133, -30) Film Noir Home
(+120, -18) Supermarket Pirates
ldischler, Nov 28 2007

       does that mean we have 330 members?
evilpenguin, Dec 02 2007

       the "post '04" doesn't enter the equation - not all the votes on ideas disappeared then.
po, Dec 02 2007

daseva, Dec 02 2007

       I won't detail the circumstances for those who haven't seen it, but last night's episode of the program LOST (season 4 - "The Shape of Things to Come") featured a character entering a panic PIN! It was on a security keypad, not an ATM, but it was otherwise precisely as described here. It happens in the first 5 minutes of the story.
krelnik, Apr 25 2008

       Ah, I had this same idea a while ago, but for a safe combination. If I were designing an ATM I would definitely implement this.
Bukkakinator, Jan 20 2009

       yeah right [UnaBubba], as if this would ever get deleted.
simonj, Jan 26 2009

       So, my name is now an expletive? Who can blame you?
nineteenthly, Jan 26 2009

       If the the machine simply "blacklisted" the the bills that it dispensed and businesses always checked the validity of any money it received the stolen cash could be made worthless completely removing the incentive to commit the crime.   

       As for the issue of making the panic pin indistinguishable from the normal pin I suggest it be the normal pin with a different last digit.   

       To avoid criminals seeing the first pin I suggest the keys be placed facing the user in a hand hole with a single eyepiece so only one person can watch at a time.   

       Someone asked about something similar to this on the radio today "Is it true that if you enter your PIN backwards, the police are notified?". Sadly, this idea has still not been implemented although a lot of people seem to think it has.
marklar, Jun 25 2012

       This idea seems to demonstrate that this place effectively generates or reflects urban myths and possibly other memes.
nineteenthly, Jun 25 2012

       //Sadly, this idea has still not been implemented // mainly because it wouldn't work for obvious reasons.
po, Jun 25 2012


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