Credit card PINs

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12 Aug 2012 12:19 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

 

 
I guess that many of us carry a list of our PINs, albeit in a disguised form.     

In my case they were in the form of telephone numbers in a list of contacts, where the last 4 digits of some ‘fake telephone numbers’ were  the PINs.
 
I have just discovered that when one tries to use a Visa Credit card, say in an ATM, one can try as many number of times  as they like, providing they request a balance.  

I mistakenly thought that after three tries the card would be blocked, but  not so.. 

Thus if someone had stolen my purse with my card and telephone list, and then tried the last four digits of every telephone number on my list,  eventually they would be lucky.
 
If you have the same ‘fool proof system’ I suggest that you,  like me , try another MO.
 

 

 


This message was last edited by elaineG on 12/08/2012.



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12 Aug 2012 13:18 by potblack Star rating in Alicante & Singapore. 233 posts Send private message

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Had you not thought of using your pin security on your phone to protect your phone and data?.



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12 Aug 2012 14:36 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

 

Potblack
 
This not about me but a warning to, I believe, the many who use the same system, to warn them of the ‘hidden’  danger
 
Incidentally, I used to use my fixed phone number as my phone PIN !

 

 


This message was last edited by elaineG on 12/08/2012.



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13 Aug 2012 09:43 by pommers Star rating in Almoradi, Spain. 606 posts Send private message

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As a retired IT Consultant who has worked for some of the big banks and seen the amount of fraud on cards, my advice would be

DON'T KEEP YOUR CARD NUMBERS IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR CARD.

Simples.

Yes - writing your PIN down as a phone number is the most obvious method and card fraudsters know it.

Change the PIN on each or your cards to something you  will remember - but for heavens sake do not make them all the same - this is the next most obvious way - and fraudsetrs know this too - and it is the easiest way for someone to use every single one of them.



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13 Aug 2012 10:13 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

 

Pommers
 
Changing the number(s) to something one remembers is great, but if one has a UK card and is not in UK then that cannot be done.
 
For people with more than a couple of cards , hoping to remember different PINs for several cards, some of which may be used only very occasionally, is not realistic, in reality we are going to make a note of the numbers, and that means we will need to carry the number with us too.
 
The problem in the main is with the card company, who should ensure that a card, which is in ‘theory ‘ has been blocked when a wrong number is used three times, should stay blocked until a new number is issued, not until the correct number is used for a balance enquiry.
 
Pommers,   If you still have contacts with the bank you might be able to persuade them to do something.
 
 
PS    I have used my card successfully a few times since being 'reminded' of the number, but at the weekend it was not accepted in Eroski.  Unlike the other retailers, who just gave me my card back when the number was not accepted, on this occasion, the cashier ( a woman of course, a man may not have thought of it)  entered the number manually and I signed the slip.  And, not ony that, she accepted my Residencia, which expired in 2007, as ID.

 

 

 


This message was last edited by elaineG on 13/08/2012.



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13 Aug 2012 17:38 by herbalist36 Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

 If you have a smart phone buy an app called ewallet and have all your info there,  it is the only way to keep all the pins and passwords safe it cost only about 4 Euros, for me it is impossible to remember all the info that I need, perhaps I am getting to old LOL!!!!.

 

 





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13 Aug 2012 18:36 by mobailey Star rating in San Cayetano. 461 posts Send private message

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 ElaineG are you useing a NatWest card as we had the  same problem with Eroski when useing a nat west card but had no problems any where esle.



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14 Aug 2012 01:47 by pommers Star rating in Almoradi, Spain. 606 posts Send private message

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ElaineG - a warning to you.

If you have Residencia (ie living in Spain) and still have a UK Bank Card using an address of a house you don't own, you may find that any insurance you carry to cover loss or theft of your cards will be invalidated - and they might refuse to cover you.
The card company may also not cover any losses either.
They really don't ikethe fraudsters and will do anything to get out of covering any loss.
And if they find out you were carrying your PIN with your card they definitely won't cover you.

I have about 9 cards and have them set to just 3 PINs. Okay not perfectly secure but I can remember those 3 numbers and it means that i'll get I'll get it right within the 3 tries. 

I no longer have any close contacts with the banks - i've been retired for 6 years now so can't pass you observation to them

I checked with my card company today too - and they say that an ATM won't let me have more than 3 attempts to enter my PIN, even on a balance enquiry. Well at least not in the UK although they were unsure about what might happen in Spain. And I don't want to risk trying it in case my card gets "gobbled up". Yes - I still have a UK Card too but I don't have residencia as I still have a house in the UK where I spend a fair amount of time. 

I really would not advise writing them down and carrying them with the card.
If you have a smart phone then definitely try that app, if an ordinary mobile phone then disguise them in there as a number as hopefully it would take fraudsters too long to go through all your number sin the mobile. Although they might.

 


 


This message was last edited by pommers on 14/08/2012.

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14 Aug 2012 08:10 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

No Problems with the address.
 
 I have several accounts (Nationwide) some with a UK address others with my Spanish one.  Thus both are registered. 
 
Interesting that your supplier says three strikes and out, that was what I was also told by one of the people I spoke to.  When I told them that was not so, they said they were not ‘trained’ re Visa Credit Cards.

 

I don't have residencia as I still have a house in the UK where I spend a fair amount of time

I guess you know that if you ‘intend to spend’ or do spend 3 mths permanently in Spain, that you are required to Register on the EU Citizens Register (As you refer it Residencia) and if spend a total of 183 in any year in Spain, then you are tax Resident and must make your tax return in Spain, even if that would result in a ‘negative return’ (only a Government employee pension and income from rental in UK  is excluded, from the declaration)





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14 Aug 2012 08:56 by howee Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

only a Government employee pension and ............  is excluded, from the declaration)

ElaineG - are you absolutely certain that you are correct in the above? I have seen it said elsewhere but when I made my tax declaration this year I asked the tax consultant if my NHS pension was excluded and she said emphatically 'no'.

Graham



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14 Aug 2012 14:58 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

Howee, 

                         I think you failed to understand what I posted.  Please read it again. 

 

 And note,  an NHS pension is not a Government employee pension (military, police , Civil Servants etc).

 

Thus, the advice you got was the same as my post.





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15 Aug 2012 13:20 by lifeinvejer Star rating in Costa de la Luz. 16 posts Send private message

Having read the posts about pins and fails I think it is useful to post some helpful info about this to reassure readers on the likely causes of this. I have spent some considerable time implementing credit card systems and bank card sysyems for a major global bank and have seen many situations.

1. The bank not visa or MasterCard operate their card systems. Thus any issue relates to your bank in this case
2. Pin attempts are a configuration on the chip on your card linked back to your banks card system. It is unlikely that any bank in the uk would deviate for the 3 strikes and your out rule. If this were the case then the bank concerned would amending its systems in the back ground simply to avoid the fraud risk.
3. You mention balance inquiries and I presume that you we're using a spanish card? Frankly from what I have seen of various spainish banks I could entirely believe that a small player has a system fault, configuration error etc. Given the poor state of spanish banks lack of cash etc I personally would not use any one other than the big three players. Then rest no doubt will have slashed IT spending.
4. If your talking about a uk bank again I would suggest that you look hard at the various ones out there. Frankly some of them play hard and loose with IT systems and upgrades. The larger global players will rightly not send balance inquiry data back to the ATM your using relying on approving or declining your request for cash. That approval being done on the banks system.
5. Lastly on pins The most likely risk or issue with a pin is with fake ATM's I would highlight that its a major issue with fake ATM terminals to skim your card details and pin. This is an area that all the banks play down for obvious reasons and is the biggest source of stoeln card data. It's big time organised crime and is Europe wide. The only way to avoid it is to be careful about the ATM you use and I would recommend that one never uses one that is on the street in the wall of the bank.

Last comment is about government pensions. I have been told that certain types qualify and other don't. My tax accountants tells me that my wife's teachers TPA one does. So I think you have to look at it on a case by case basis.



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15 Aug 2012 13:22 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

Howee

 

Just to clarify.

A person who has been employed by the NHS has been a Civil Servant, so as I said, that pension (former Government Employee) would be taxed ONLY in UK.   If that person also gets an NHS (State Pension- OAP) that pension is taxed only in Spain.





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15 Aug 2012 13:35 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

Lifesaver.
This was my thread starter.
I guess that many of us carry a list of our PINs, albeit in a disguised form.     
 
In my case they were in the form of telephone numbers in a list of contacts, where the last 4 digits of some ‘fake telephone numbers’ were  the PINs.
 
I have just discovered that when one tries to use a Visa Credit card, say in an ATM, one can try as many number of times  as they like, providing they request a balance.  
 
I mistakenly thought that after three tries the card would be blocked, but  not so.. 
 
Thus if someone had stolen my purse with my card and telephone list, and then tried the last four digits of every telephone number on my list,  eventually they would be lucky.
 
If you have the same ‘fool proof system’ I suggest that you,  like me , try another MO.
 
 
My cards was issued by Nationwide (in UK) to a UK address.

I live in Spain. 

The transactions I was talking about were in Spain
 
By accident yesterday, I ‘blocked’ my Nationwide Visa  Debit card by using the wrong PIN three times in a shop.
 
I have just been to an ATM, entered the correct PIN and have unblocked my Debit Card.
 

I was told by Nationwide, when I queried the Credit Card facility to unblock it, that with a Debit Card, that would remain blocked.  As I say, I just unblocked it.

 

Thus, my warning remains the same, albeit that this MAY not apply to other banks..





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16 Aug 2012 16:46 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

Up date

I have just spoken to Nationwide in UK and they cannot explain, nor seem that concerned, that a customer can unblock a card after multiple attempts to use it with a variety of numbers.  They just say that one could not do that in one of their ATM’s in UK.
 
They seemed to not understand, or did not wish to, that I, like many of their customers, am not in UK. and that it can happen in Spain and therefore maybe elsewhere too.
 
They did say that if one lost, or had their card stolen, even if their PIN was with the card, provided it was ‘encrypted’ in a way which was secure and known only to the customer, they would refund any losses.





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16 Aug 2012 22:52 by wodger Star rating. 28 posts Send private message

 I only ever carry two cards, a debit card which I use all of the time, & know the number off by heart, & a credit card that I use once every couple of years, so I have to think of a way of remembering the pin .

Once I had a card & I changed the number to 0111, (a ball & three cricket stumps) this was easy for me to remember.

My wife & I now sandwich the four digit pin between recognised numbers

eg house number, kids dates of birth, date of wedding etc, so for example the number in your wallet could be:

180412791806846021051076.

The pin no. would be 6021 as house number is 18, kids birthdays are 04/12/79 & 18/06/84 & the wedding date is 05/10/76.

Hope this helps





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17 Aug 2012 08:23 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

Wodger,   

                       Interesting but you missed my point.

 

I wanted readers to know that maybe their cards, like those of Nationwide, do not get blocked (forever) if the wrong number / wrong numbers are used over and over again.

 

That means that even with your system one could just keep on trying the numbers ion blocks of four,  working along the line until ‘bingo’





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18 Aug 2012 11:05 by wodger Star rating. 28 posts Send private message

 Yes, I did get your point Elaine, but simply working along in blocks of four would not work, as birthdays are dd/mm/yy ( blocks of 6) house numbers could also be one, two or three digits. For extra security you could also "pad the front & rear of the sequence with a single random number, & reverse the actual pin number in the sequence, ie 1 2 3 4 to 4 3 2 1., but if you carry out these extra safety measures you will most likely forget "the rules" as it is far to complicated. One would have to stand in front of an ATM for days to eventially get the pin.

 





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18 Aug 2012 12:52 by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

Wodger
                             but my point was not how to make the list safe to point out how ‘casual’ the bank(s) is (are) with ensuring their customers security.
 
I think it should be, as most seem to believe it is, three attempts and blocked until the BANK unblock it.





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20 Aug 2012 12:42 by wodger Star rating. 28 posts Send private message

 Yes I do agree with your point it should be 3 attempts & you are out, but as you say this is not the case.

.However the banks would argue that if you are granted a card then it is your responsibility to learn your pin number, & it is us that are being casual with the security of our cards by being too stupid or lazy re; security of our accounts.They would also not want to spend vast sums of money altering their software programmes when it is their stupid customers (like me & you ) that need to be more responsible.





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