Bemused shoppers who received double payouts from a faulty cash machine are being allowed to keep the money.
More than 50 people queued up in the pouring rain at lunchtime last Friday to take advantage of the cash machine which was malfunctioning at Martin’s newsagents on Middle Street South, in Driffield town centre.
And the queue began to grow as word spread. It’s understood customers were receiving twice the amount of cash that was coming off their balances.
“People said they were putting their cards in getting out more money than they should have done,” said one worker in a nearby shop.
She added: “It was pouring down with rain but people didn’t seem to be bothered about getting wet, and word soon got around.”
Now the company which operates the cash machine – Cashzone – has said people can keep the money that was paid out in error.
The company, which operates thousands of cash machines across the UK, said it had investigated the problem and that the cash machine had been fixed by the end of the day – but that because of the rarity of it’s cash machines breaking down it would not be “recalling” the money.
The company declined to say how much money had been paid out in error, nor what had caused the malfunction.
Humberside Police said an anonymous caller had reported the situation to them at 1.21 pm on Friday, but officers say they are not investigating any criminal activity.
A police spokesperson said: “If the company which operates the machine was to say it had been tampered with then we would investigate, but at this point in time no investigations are taking place.”
Meanwhile, the shop worker, who did not wish to be named, added: “It says ‘free’ cash on the machine, but you wouldn’t ever think it would literally be free!
“Someone said why don’t you go into Wilkinsons and use the cash point in there, but they said oh no I’d rather use this one because it’s paying out double!”
A shopkeeper, who also works nearby and did not wish to be named, said it was “terrible” that people had “abused the system” and that they should pay back the money.
She added: “It’s just greed! It’s something for nothing and it’s not right.
“At the end of the day it’s the systems’s mistake, but for people to go queueing up knowingly – that isn’t right!”
Another shopkeeper said: “I couldn’t understand why there were so many people standing out in the pouring rain to use a cash machine when there are so many others in the town. I was too busy getting on with what I was supposed to be doing to be over bothered by it.”
He added: “I don’t know what the legislation is. I suppose it’s the machine’s fault, but you also need honesty from people.”
Another shop manager commented: “I thought the majority of Driffield people were quite honest – or that’s what I was led to believe.”
A worker in Martin’s newsagent said the cash machine was nothing to do with the shop, and that Cashzone rented the space from them, but that she couldn’t comment any further.
One person commented on The Driffield Times and Post website that there must have been 50 people in the queue. Another said: “Not often folks get something extra from the greedy banks, but no doubt they’ll get it back with mega-interest.”