Pressing ‘cancel’ does not prevent cash machine fraud

21 July 2020
What was claimed

Pressing the cancel button twice before using a cash machine prevents fraudsters from stealing your PIN.

Our verdict

This is not true. LINK, which operates the UK’s largest cash machine network, calls it an “urban myth”.

A widely shared post on Facebook claims that pressing the cancel button twice before using a cash machine is a good way to prevent fraud. This is an old rumour, which isn’t true.

The post claims to be a “Message from a Banker”. It goes on to say that, when using a cash machine (also called an ATM), people should “Press ‘cancel’ button twice before inserting the card. If anyone has set-up the key pad to steal yr PIN code, this will cancel that set-up”.

Other fact checkers have found posts with the same or similar wording being shared in many different countries and languages, at least as early as November 2018. 

However, this is not a way to prevent fraud on your account. 

We’ve been in touch with LINK, which operates the UK’s largest cash machine network. When shown this Facebook post, a spokesperson for LINK told us, “This is an urban myth and wouldn’t work.”

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because this is not a way to prevent fraud.

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