Hoax Crime Advice in Local Tory Leaflet

Councillor says they should 'hang their heads in shame'

Related links

The Pin number hoax originated in 2006. Two examples of the hoax the Conservatives fell for can be seen at: www.hoax-slayer.com/reverse-pin-ATM.html

or at www.snopes.com/business/bank/pinalert.asp

Conservative leaflet

Conservative leaflet giving hoax safety advice (below)

safety advice


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Southfield Liberal Democrats have called for a full apology from local Conservatives for distributing a bogus 'safety tip' on reducing crime. Conservatives delivered a leaflet to homes in Southfield Ward and included advice to residents about what to do if they are attacked when using a ATM (cash machine).

The 'safety tip' is in fact a hoax that originated in 2006 called “Reverse the pin number to call police”.

Councillor Gary Malcolm, crime spokesperson, has spoken to the local police Sergeant in Southfield and also Lloyds TSB who have both confirmed that the Conservative leaflet is false and misleading.

The hoax advice reads: "If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your PIN in reverse. For example, if your pin number is 1234, then you would put in 4321. The ATM system recognises that your PIN number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine. The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to the location."

Elizabeth James, a branch manager for Lloyds TSB, said when asked about the matter: “This hoax has been around for a while and if you type your PIN number the wrong way around you’ll probably get your card swallowed by the cash machine.”

Police say that the advice to type your pin backwards at an ATM machine is incorrect, and that the the cash machine will eventually swallow up your card, the police will not be notified and of course you will not receive any cash.

Councillor Gary Malcolm said: “The local Conservatives should hold their head in shame for spreading lies on important matters like crime. You would have thought they would have more sense not to fall for this hoax. I have called for them to apologise. Until they do, no resident can believe a single word they utter.”

Meanwhile, local Conservatives say they acted quickly to inform residents that the advice was incorrect. Glenn Murphy, Chairman of Ealing Central and Acton Conservatives, told us what had been done about the error: "Shortly after we delivered the newsletter many months ago to a few streets we became aware that the information was incorrect.

"The entire newsletter delivery was then disposed of and a new leaflet was produced. In addition to this, an additional leaflet was circulated to those residents in the few streets that received the first leaflet, updating supporters on the correction and error made and all the other good work been done by the Conservatives locally."

Southfield Liberal Democrats have issued the following verifiable advice to reduce crime:
Look for the padlock
Before entering sensitive information (such as your credit or debit card details) into a website, you should always check that this information is being handled in a secure manner. Make sure that the data being sent is encrypted (i.e. scrambled or encoded) as this makes it much more difficult for anyone else to read or change your personal information.

A list of useful tips when buying something on the internet can be found at www.becardsmart.org.uk/home/.



August 21, 2009