A story on CNN this morning reports that an ATM machine in Louisiana spit out $20s instead of $5s recently and that over $7000 in extra money was handed out to users of the machine over a two day period.
The authorities are thinking of bringing up charges against those that received the extra dough.
I think that’s wrong.
First of all, the article says that they think someone rigged the machine to spit out the wrong denomination bills. My gut tells me that in reality someone put $20 bills in the $5 slot when they were loading the machine but perhaps someone knew some codes and hacked into the ATM which, by the way, was probably made by the same company that those completely unneccessary but lord and savior electronic voting machines that keep messing up our elections.
Secondly, the problem was reported and the truck stop that owned the machine took action by unplugging it. It was subsequently plugged back in, apparently when no one was looking and so more people received extra money. That’s the fault of the folks at the truck stop, not the customers. The authorities have better things to do instead of tracking down folks from god knows where who got a few extra bucks. In a way, it was their lucky day (though in kind of a morally questionnable way), and if companies are going to be housing bank machines in every last remote location throughout the country then its their responsibility to make sure the machine is working correctly.
Remember the ads in the 1980s when people were all happy because the then brand new ATMs spit out too much money? The big voice said “It’s your lucky day!”
I guess that’s a thing of the past in today’s version of the United States.