7 On Your Side: ATM cash deposit disappears

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Friday, January 8, 2016
7 On Your Side: Tips for ATM deposits
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7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda has the details on what you need to know.

BROOKLYN, NY (WABC) -- When you make a deposit at an ATM, you assume the money gets into your account. But what if it doesn't? A Brooklyn Uber driver said his pay vanished into a money machine black hole, and when he couldn't retrieve it, he turned to 7 On Your Side.

It's so routine, it's mindless. Insert your card, and get or deposit cash in the ATM. But things didn't go as planned for Nana Nyarko.

"I got a receipt saying the ATM had experienced a technical problem," he said.

Nyarko has been hanging onto that beat up receipt since mid November after his $420 disappeared. The next day, the deposit was not in his account, so he called Chase and the rep gave him the credit. But by the next day, it was lost.

"They couldn't find the money," he said. "I deposited, and they would have to close the case, and my money wasn't being refunded."

The money was withdrawn, and since it was the beginning of the month, the negative balance spelled big problems for the struggling student balancing tuition and his job.

That missing $420 doubled in fees, but when he went to the branch to try to pull the surveillance footage, he was told he needed a police report.

"I went to the precinct, asked to get a statement," he said. "I got that, went back, and was told to go back to the bank and get an affidavit."

When he asked for the affidavit, Nyarko says he was told he'd have to subpoena Chase. But by that time, it was too late to get the camera footage.

"They basically couldn't help me with anything except apologize for me losing my money," he said.

So he called us for help. And in less than 24 hours, he got his deposit and overdraft fees credited.

"I really appreciate you guys for coming to my side," he said. "Thank you."

A Chase rep said the bank never found the $400 he deposited, but gave the money back because he was a customer in good standing.

The big takeaway when using an ATM is to keep all receipts. That was Nyarko's saving grace that proved he made a transaction. Monitor your account, and if you see any abnormal or fraudulent activity, contact the bank right away. And with cash deposits, try to use a teller instead of the ATM. There are more protections with a person-to-person transaction.