Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Brilliant Idea

While getting money out of an ATM this morning Barman started to think. This is always bad, and particularly so in the morning. Nonetheless, it occured to me that in addition to a PIN, you should also be assigned an ALERT PIN.

You read so often about someone who is accosted and forced to use their credit or debit card to withdraw money from an ATM (and I know a lot of these claims are suspect). If you had an ALERT PIN you could enter that instead of your regular PIN and this would set off an alarm
and immediately flag your account as having illegal activity.

Barman is bit cynical about some of these claims though. I spend a fair amount of time in Mexico and have heard all sorts or tales about people being accosted, usually late at night, and being forced to withdraw money from an ATM. Often, it appears, it is someone who has just run out of money, wants to continue partying (and this includes buying drugs) and then makes up a tale to cover up where the money actually went.

Sometimes the tales are quite ludicrous. My favorite was told by three fellows who claimed they were accosted by the police after they left a club early in the morning and forced to withdraw money to "avoid being arrested." Of course these people couldn't even agree on what color uniform the police were wearing or how many policemen there were. Kind of makes you suspicious.

But I digress. I still think my idea about the ALARM PIN is a good one and fully expect to be compensated if it is adopted.