Man loses $1,300 to ATM malfunction

Don't Waste Your Money

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Most of us use ATMs to withdraw cash, but some people – such as gig workers or restaurant workers who rely on tips – often use ATMs to make cash deposits.

But did you ever wonder if there is any risk to that? One man said he just found out how risky it can be.

Eric Morton said he’s out a large amount of money after what he believes was an ATM malfunction.

“I walked into the ATM kiosk and put my card in,” he said, showing us a freestanding PNC bank ATM.

He said he then deposited $1,300 cash, mostly in $20 bills, into the ATM’s cash slot.

“I heard it counting the money, counting the money,” he said. “But as it was processing, an error hits the screen.”

Confused, he reinserted his card and checked his account.

“I then follow up, and check my account, thinking maybe the money is in there,” he said. “But it was not in there.”

His account showed no deposit.

No answers from bank security department

Morton owns a courier company and said he frequently deposits cash, but he said when he called the bank’s security department, he claims the agent questioned whether he was telling the truth.

“So I feel like I am defending myself more than you are trying to help me,” he said. “I am trying to find out where my $1,300 went, and no one can tell me anything.”

Morton said he’s not asking the bank to take him at his word; he’s just asking the bank to look at the footage from the camera on the machine and the two bubble cameras around the ATM.

“That’s all I have been asking for,” he said. “Check the camera footage.”

So, don’t let this happen to you. When depositing cash, Bankrate.com says:

  • Use an ATM at a physical bank that is frequently checked, not a freestanding one with no bank nearby.
  • Don’t deposit cash to an out-of-network ATM where they would not have your account information if something goes wrong.
  • Consider using a live teller if it’s a very large amount of cash.

We sent Morton’s case to PNC, which conducted an investigation after our inquiry, and determined he was telling the truth. We are happy to report that a few days later, it deposited the funds back into his account.

Meantime, Morton said he will never again do an after-hours cash deposit.

As always, don’t waste your money.


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