Some customers of a bank in Houston got an early Christmas gift on Sunday night: an ATM at a Bank of America dispensed $100 bills instead of $10s, and the word was spread on social media.
ABC News reported that when people found out about the glitch, traffic swarmed to the bank, but deputies arrived and dispersed the crowd. KPRC reported, “Several arguments and even a few fights ensued while people waited in line to make a profit, officials said.”
The bank admitted Monday that a vendor mistakenly loaded $100 bills in place of $10 bills. Bank of America stated, “This was an incident at a single ATM in Houston caused when a vendor incorrectly loaded $100 bills in place of $10 bills. We have resolved the matter. Customers will be able to keep the additional money dispensed.”
Bankrate wrote in 2012, “A couple of times a year, news reports tell of crowds gathering around ATMs that mistakenly begin spewing bills. In 2010, Bank of Ireland ATMs dispensed more cash to customers than they actually had in their accounts, according to The New York Times. One taxi driver with nothing in the bank walked away with 700 euros.”
Last January, a Wichita, Kansas bank sued a local woman, claiming she made over 50 withdrawals in January from an ATM that was dispensing$100 bills in place of $5s. Central National Bank wanted Christina C. Ochoa to return $11,607.36 plus interest, saying she realized the ATM wasn’t working and calculated further withdrawals over a five-day period to maximize the amount of cash it dispensed. The bank said Ochoa should have received $1,485, but got $14,120.
The lawsuit stated, “The first time the ATM dispensed more money that what was due Christina, Christina and Christy had a duty to return the surplus funds to the bank. … Not only did they fail to (do) so, but they capitalized on the situation by making a series of over fifty (50) structured withdrawals, most within minutes of each other, and transacted at all hours of the night in order to expose Central to more loss.”
Ochoa’s mother said her daughter simply needed a ton of $5 bills to craft a “money cake” as a gift. The lawsuit asserted that when Ochoa was apprised of the error and the need to return the money, she “wholly refused to do so.”
Conversely, in 2013, Devon Gluck, a student at the University of Delaware, received $1,800 in cash from an ATM making a mistake. He said, “My eyes just opened really wide, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is $1,800 right here, it’s pretty crazy.’” Friends told him to keep the money, but after speaking with his father, he returned the money. He said, “After a couple days of just thinking about it, the right thing would be just to return the money. I mean, it was just eating at me at the time, because it isn’t mine, and I didn’t even know what to do with it.”
A manager at PNC bank thanked Gluck for his actions.