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ATM nightmare: Account debited $500, but no cash

Posted: 4:14 PM, Jan 05, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-19 20:29:31Z

It's everyone's fear when making an ATM withdrawal: You put your card in, enter your PIN, and no cash comes out.

Now, A woman is out almost $500, after an ATM took her card and failed to dispense any money.

Noreen Brandenburg says she was using an out of network ATM when she says the machine malfunctioned.

"I got my card back, but no money," she said. But it deducted $480 from her account.

"It said I had $10 in the account, where I had almost $500 previously," she said.

Don't Let This Happen to You

Fortunately ATM failures are rare. But they do happen. So there are some things you can do to protect yourself.

The money site Bankrate.com says your best bet is to always use your own bank's ATM, if possible.

Also, try to limit cash withdrawals to $200, just in case there is some problem.

But if you end up like Brandenburg, we have some On Your Side advice for you.

  • 1. Take a cell phone photo of the ATM, and of any receipt you get.
  • 2. Do not try to use the ATM again: It may malfunction a second time.
  • 3. Call your bank immediately and file a claim.
  • 4. Ask them if they can give you what's called a "provisional credit,"where they put the money in your account temporarily, until their investigation is complete.

We contacted both banks involved -- hers and the ATM's owner -- and they promised to speed up their investigation, so she can get resolution in days, not weeks.

"That's a long time to live without money," Brandenburg said.

We are not showing the ATM in question, because it appears that bank was not at fault: investigators say it appears there was a technical error in the connection to her bank. But we are working with both banks to expedite a resolution.

Meantime, try to use your own bank's ATM whenever possible, so you don't waste your money.

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