A faulty ATM in the U.K. started dispensing double the amount requested as people squabbled with each other to avail themselves of the sudden windfall.
Police were called to calm crowds that had gathered after the cash machine at the Nacton Road Lloyds TSB in Ipswich started dispensing “free money“.
A spokesman for Lloyds TSB said it would be difficult to trace the customers affected and said it was unlikely they would try to reclaim the money. Some 30 people are thought to have benefited from the glitch.
Police officers were called to the bank at 8:05p.m. (local time) on Tuesday night after a concerned member of the public reported arguments breaking out among the crowd. “The incorrect dispensing of cash is not a police issue, but we remained on scene until staff from the Lloyds bank arrived and turned off the cash machine,” a Suffolk police spokesman was quoted by the Ipswich Star as saying.
Ipswich resident Emma Hutchinson said she received a phone call from an anonymous friend at around 7 p.m. (local time) telling her the cash machine was dispensing “free money“. “Word got around pretty quickly,” she said. “My friend asked for 40 pound and the machine gave out 80 pound.” “I initially thought I would try my luck, then got paranoid the bank would be able to find out who took the money and ask for it back,” she added.
A spokesman for Lloyds TSB said: “For a very short period of time, the ATM at Nacton Road was mis-dispensing cash whilst the branch was closed. The machine was put out of service. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Last month there was a run on a Sainsbury’s ATM in central London when it started paying out double money after an employee accidentally loaded the 10 pound tray with 20 pound notes.