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The $1,800 ATM error

By David McMillin · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

A University of Delaware student got a surprise when he made a stop at his bank's ATM last month: $1,800 of someone else's money.

A story by Ryan Marshall at The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., reports that Devon Gluck, a senior finance major at UD, was waiting to use an ATM when the machine dispensed $1,800 without even inserting a debit card. PNC spokeswoman Marcey Zwiebel confirmed via email that the machine was a PNC-owned ATM but did not give any additional details about the situation.

Luckily, Gluck seems to have a conscience. According to the story, he returned the money to a PNC branch a few days later. While he seems to have taken the high road, the story does raise some questions about potential issues with banking technology. If Gluck wouldn't have returned the money, this seems like the account holder who had lost funds would probably face some challenges in getting the money returned quickly. For banks, this situation can lead to losing much more than a few thousand dollars, too. Last year, an ATM error cost the Bank of America around $1.5 million.

Banking technology is far from perfect, and ATMs do make mistakes. This story reinforces the importance of consistently monitoring your checking account activity to ensure you aren't the victim of an accidental withdrawal. If you do think you're missing a portion of your money, it's important to notify your bank immediately.

What would you do if an ATM gave you an unexpected sum of cash that wasn't yours?

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