Aspen Daily News – July 28, 2007:

About 20 patrons of a Louisiana truck stop ATM noticed something weird going on with their withdrawals about a month ago. The machine was spitting out $20 bills when it was supposed to be issuing $5’s.

Folks got slightly richer than they’d expected and the local parish lawman vowed to send the posse after them.

What would you do if an ATM spontaneously enriched you?

Back in Louisiana, an online service, reporting the glitch in DeSoto Parish, polled visitors to its news pages. Should ATM customers give back their loot? The result was nearly a toss-up, with the edge (55 percent) going to the Right Thing To Do.

  1. Mister Mustard says:

    Well, whaddyagonnado other than keep the money?

    Those truck-stop ATMs usually belong to “banks” that I’ve never heard of, probably registered in the Cayman Islands. They seem to be there largely to scam the user fee off of truckers hard up for some cash for the truck-stop cuties. Other than GhostBusters, who you gonna call? I’d take the money and run.

  2. JoaoPT says:

    Don’t they have insurances for this kind of malfunctions?
    Machine spews off too much cash? tough luck!

  3. bobbo says:

    Let me see. Written record of all transactions with secret codes personalized to me as the user.

    Usually on camera linked to the transaction.

    Obvious error at the time as I jump up and down at my good luck.

    Sure!! I’d keep the money.

  4. Danijel says:

    Didn’t we have a similar type of story before that involved some slot machines in Las Vegas? As I remember, the casino is always right (or the bank in this case). They should give the money back.

  5. Anonymous Coward says:

    I’d take advantage of the chick in the picture!

  6. RTaylor says:

    In most jurisdictions it is against to law to keep such gains and fail to report it. Like the poster stated above, they know where you live.

  7. N0Lif3 says:

    If I got more money than I thought I withdrew, I would go home and check my account online to make sure, then I’d just grin and be happy I got a little free money. I wouldn’t be greedy enough to try again, I’d be too paranoid of the consequences of knowingly stealing money from the machines.

  8. hhopper says:

    I’d give it back in a New York second. Quick way to get a felony record.

  9. Bob says:

    They know who you are and they know when it happened. REG E from the federal reserve regulations spell out the rights and responsibliltes of all parties. The owner will file a REG E and deduct the profits directly from your account

  10. bobbo says:

    I’ll hold my breath, count to ten, and invite “whomever” to opine that such REG E acitivity is against my right to privacy!!!

    And in a sense, that certain sense, it certainly is!

  11. Kent Goldings says:

    I’d give the money back. It’s not mine. I’d expect the bank to own-up if they made an error in their favor.

  12. Mister Mustard says:

    >>I’d expect the bank to own-up if they made an error in their favor.

    Hey, how are you coming along on the paperwork for that bridge deal we discussed? Get cracking! I’ve got investors in Nigeria who need the money to get their $20982340982409823.00 out of probate!


  13. tallwookie says:

    yes, id take the money – and i’fd come back every few days and take more out untill it got fixed – and then i’d never come back

    but thats just how i roll

  14. Graeme Nimmo says:

    I would keep the cash, but then again, over here in the UK it would be legal. Any time a bank makes an error in your favour, then the money is yours, but every time they make a mistake in their favour, then they have to give the money back.

    There was a cash machine in Glasgow a couple of years ago that would issue double what you had taken out, so there was a queue right around the block within about an hour.

  15. HMeyers says:

    Imagine if the machine spit out $5 bills instead of $20 bills and the customer was being ripped off?

    How would you get your additional money back from the bank? How agonizing of a process would it be?

  16. Who wastes time to count their ATM withdrawals? I usually take out $200-$300 at a time but never count it. I used to but (I’m a slow learner) by the 10,000th time I realized that ATMs are INFALLIBLE and since then the withdrawal goes from the machine straight to my wallet. I wouldn’t know it, unless it was very obvious, that I got more bills than I was supposed to (or less, for that matter). I suppose though that if accused by the bank for not returning a mistakenly overdrawn withdrawal they wouldn’t believe that I don’t count it.

  17. Dauragon88 says:

    I would give the money back. Being the inner city black male that I am, taking the money would probably result in several police officers bursting into my home and shooting me 100+ times.

  18. Mr. Fusion says:

    #17, Good point.

    Being a white middle aged male with blue eyes and light brown hair, I would keep the effen money and say something along the lines of “ya wan it, send me a bill demonstrating its yers”.


    I’d give the money back. It’s not mine. I’d expect the bank to own-up if they made an error in their favor.

    Once it is in my pocket it is mine. When the bank makes an error? Ya right. Ha.

    Ha ha.


  19. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    I only use my bank’s ATM… but what if I did get money from some generic ATM at a truck stop?

    How am I supposed to give it back?

    Screw that… It’s my money now.

  20. Joe Cushing says:

    Numbers 15 and 19 make good points. I’d track the bank down and tell them I’d be happy to refund their money. Then I tell them I charge a $35 research and phone hold time fee. Then I’d ask them where I can send the bill. It’s the bank’s error why should we have to be so inconvenienced by it. $15 is not enough money to justify the waist of my time.

    On the other hand if they tracked me down, I’d tell them to send a porter with change for a 20 to come get it. I wouldn’t even want to take the time to put a stamp on an envelop to correct their mistake.

    If it were the other way around and I lost $15 in the transaction, I probably wouldn’t bother tracking the bank down.


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