Home Technology ATM Machine Goes Rogue, Spits Out $37,000

ATM Machine Goes Rogue, Spits Out $37,000

It was 5:30 in the morning and a woman waiting in line for the ATM in South Portland, Maine was cold and getting impatient.

So much cash, so little room in a shopping bag

The man in front of her was taking an unusual amount of time, literally stuffing cash in all available pockets until there was no more room, when he turned to fill a shopping bag with cash.

It turns out police are now investigating an ATM machine gone rogue that was literally spitting out cash.

According to reports on WGME-TV in Portland, Maine, police responded to a woman calling and saying a man was behaving unusually in front of an ATM.  When officers arrived they discovered the man had requested $140 from the ATM, but the machine spit out $37,000 from TD Bank’s branch ATM.  As responding officers they witnessed the man plowing cash into the shopping bag as fast as it was being spit out from the ATM.

“Code error” cause

While police continue to investigate, the money was returned to the bank and they do not anticipate pressing charges. A bank executive said the problem was a non-descript “code error” and that customer accounts were not impacted by the incident.

The unknown man was not identified because he wasn’t charged.  He did walk away from the ATM with his $140 and a story to tell.

As society contemplates computers who operate our stock exchanges and financial infrastructure, and robots play an increasingly important role in society, there is nothing to be alarmed about in an ATM machine spitting out hordes of cash to an early morning bank customers.

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Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com