Keep Your PIN Safe

Back in the early 1990s I worked for a large bank in California. I worked for two and a half years on the bank’s 24-hour customer service line. I’ve written before about working as an Express Agent and the types of calls I would get. I got a lot of calls from people who needed help balancing their accounts. I also got calls from customers who had never balanced and felt it was the bank’s fault they were now being charge non-sufficient funds charges and having transactions returned. I’ve also written about how important it is to save your receipts until you reconcile so you’ll have documentation, if there is an error.

I can’t remember how many calls I got from family members who had been betrayed by another family member and needed help to stop the flow of money out of the account. All too often children were stealing from their parents and grandparents. Sometimes the parents or grandparents will have given permission to use an ATM card and gave the borrower the PIN. I always advised my customers to not do this. Do not let anyone know your PIN.

This is sad to me. I have known my mom’s PIN and had access to her ATM and debit cards. The last thing in the world I would ever think of doing is using the card when she didn’t hand it to me for an express purpose. In the same vein, my husband has given me his card and PIN. In his case, however, I never remember his PIN from one transaction to the next.

Your PIN is your personal identification number and no one should know it but you. If you’re going to share, make sure you trust the person implicitly and there are no hints of reason for distrust.