The ATM Stole All My Money: The Saga Continues

“We’re sorry, but the funds could not be dispensed. The transaction was settled.”

This is the message that was printed on a receipt from an ATM I tried to withdraw money from. One thousand dollars, in Romanian currency. Enough to cover expenses, bills, rent, and all that needed to be paid for an entire month, including food, clothes, gym membership, and renewing the plan (and the domain) for this blog for another year.

At first, I thought the ATM malfunctioned, or there weren’t enough funds, or something like that. It had happened to me before. But when I checked my online account, the funds were missing.

I called the bank that operates the ATM, told them about this, and they said that it usually takes 15-20 minutes for the funds to appear back into my account. When that didn’t happen, I called Payoneer (my bank, so to speak) and told them about the situation.

This happened more than a week ago. I was told that the funds were on hold (in pre-authorization status) until the 9th, and that there’s nothing to be done until then.

You guys probably know me being desperate, trying to raise funds, sell anything at all, so I wouldn’t be evicted…

The 9th came and went, and the funds were still on hold. They still are.

And today I talked to customer support. For the fifth time. And they told me they’re going to file a complaint.

Just now. They didn’t do it sooner, they didn’t tell me about it the first four times I called them…

And I am in big trouble, because my domain expires tomorrow. I am $27 shy of purchasing the plan I have on this WordPress blog.

There’s little money for food.

The situation is ridiculous, and I need to think like the money is lost forever, because the truth is that I did not do my best simply because I was waiting for the funds to be returned to me. That may never happen, or it may happened after 90 or so days (I read about this on an online forum).

This is the last time I am asking for help, but I am going to lose the domain for this blog.

You can help me out by donating any amount you see fit here.

Any amount at all helps immensely.

Yes, I am considering legal action, but I am broke as hell right now.

If I had that money, I could afford it.

Right now, I have still to recover from this loss, and I have still to feel good enough to work like I used to.

If you want to help me out, you can donate any amount you see fit via PayPal here.

15 thoughts on “The ATM Stole All My Money: The Saga Continues

  1. I work at a bank and they should’ve filed a claim after the funds didn’t appear back in your account at the very latest, a couple days after. I’m in the US but still, banks have regulations that are in place and they need to follow them. Otherwise they can get into trouble. That’s completely ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So they didn’t have to wait until the pre-authorization expired?

      Actually, they only filed the claim today, four days after the pre-authorization should have ended (this according to them) and after I called customer support again.


      • Every bank is different. So I can’t say yes or no and with it being a different country, I really don’t know. I know here we have to wait until something is not pending and it hard posts to an account. So if the pre-authorization is the same thing as pending, then I can see why they wait. Sometimes things will “fall off” or in a sense, disappear out of the account like it never happened. Did they talk to you about temporarily giving you funds until the investigation is complete? Again, every bank is different and I can’t speak on that. But these are things I know from experience.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No, they didn’t. The Romanian bank that operates the ATM said that if I had been their client, they would have done that for me, but my bank didn’t.

          And pre-authorization is the same thing as pending. I think. From what I’ve read at least.

          Basically, I feel they should have filed that claim sooner.

          And no matter how many times they told me they were sorry, if I hadn’t asked for donations (and actually receve them) I would be homeless right now…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t understand any of this. Why would you draw out cash to pay for renewal of your domain as it’s a site? Who would you pay the cash to? Even in Romania you will not lose your home on the day the rent is due if it is not paid. It’s quite difficult to evict non-paying tenants. Why is the gym important? Do you really expect people to donate so you can go to the gym? Clothes? Don’t you have any? How did you go out to the ATM? Naked? Of course you need to eat; two of us could live on 20 ron/day for food – let’s say £4 to £5 – in either Romania or the UK; certainly one person could.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am approving this comment just to show how mentally defective someone can be.

      I had left money in my account to pay for the domain renewal, but I had to withdraw it, so I could eat.

      Yes, gym is important. Do you aim to tell me my priorities? Who are you?

      Now, as for living with 20 ron per day. Come here. I’ll give you 20 ron per day, so you can starve to death. What do you think this is, Africa? I am starting to believe you never went to Romania, and just deluded yourself into thinking you did. You seem to be that kind of demented anyway.

      If you can eat with $5 (keep wondering what), no wonder you write all sorts of inanities on WordPress that no one bothers to read. It’s messing with your brain.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. HMMM.

    I worked in the banks, I know some standard practices

    Your missing funds should be quickly returned to you. I think the standard wait period is 11 business days (here in America).

    Regarding money, a lot of internal bank operations were “Cash” is involved is on video monitoring. In disputes with large amounts of money, this is one thing they check. ATMs in America ALWAYS have cameras and date/time logging/stamping. They can EASILY see you and verify you were at the ATM at the time stamped on your receipt. Even if you didn’t keep your receipt, they still have video log of what ever happened at the ATM…on file, and it is super easy for them if you know the date…and approximate time of your transaction.

    ATMs at an actual bank are duel audited every day at least; two people are present side by side as they count cash and compare it to the computer balancing sheet it spits out when they hit a button that tabulates all transitions between their Audits which are usually in the morning. If there is discrepancy, they document it and then they go hunting for the cause. If a complaint like what you have falls within their identified discrepancy, they report it to their own authority, it goes through a process of review and then you get your money back.

    With regard to YOUR bank, they should have immediately and automatically filed a complaint. What happened to you is what happened to me three times, and they never failed to file the complaint which they share with the offending bank…It should prompt the offending bank to check its records, easily identify the fact and dispense the correction.

    Money fraud in America is taken very seriously, and the fines for it are extraordinarily harsh on a bank that is engaged in it…In America.

    Of Romania? Have not a clue.

    I hope this helps you get through the process faster now that you know where to look, what to say…what to ask for…etc.

    OH…keep that receipt. It has a time/date stamp on it…and then the offending bank and your bank know exactly where to look…what approximate time to check when the ATM was opened to audit…which should be at least daily because people who make deposits (cash and/or checks) have to have those funds verified by TWO people sitting next to each other going through all that stuff, and that has to be posted “Next business day…” Even cash.

    Video logs are standardly available I think. So ask for that, ask for names you talk to…in the conversation state the date and time (write it down)…”So Alice, what you are saying is that on (date and time) this is (what ever it is she said) . Document this for your legal action.

    Thanks. Hope it works out QUICKLY.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ian,

      Thank you for your comment.

      ATM is located in a shopping mall, so I suppose there are more cameras there.

      The lady over at the customer service (at one point during our conversation, talking about the Romanian bank now) said that even though I have the receipt (and I still have it) that they can’t just trust me that I didn’t get my money, because it some times happens that folks get their money, but the error is still printed on the receipt (sometimes the money is withdrawn from their account, sometimes not) or that the money could have gotten stuck in the atm and the next person in line at the ATM could have gotten it (alongside whatever funds they chose to withdraw from their account) in which case it’s not their job, and I have to go to the police so they can track down that person.

      Have you ever encountered such issues?

      I do not know if the ATM stopped working immediately after I tried to withdraw funds from it, since I walked away (quite a lot of folks were standing in line.) But I do know it was “out of service” the next day.

      I think 11 business day passed. Or something like that. The transaction is still on hold as of this moment.

      As for other information: the banks are blaming each other, saying the other party doesn’t know what standard procedure is. I certainly don’t, so I don’t know who’s to blame, and what should be done.

      Liked by 1 person

      • HUMPH!! As to what she told you about your money dispensing LATER, no…I’ve never heard of that…but all things she said in considerations, I SUPPOSE it could be put into a fiction based movie…and it would be an interesting plot!
        THE BANKS FIGHTING, yeah…that’s possible and likely especially if they know something is not quite right.
        GOOD LUCK about the police…UNLESS THERE IS A VIDEO LOG…if there is, I’d ask for that and take THAT to the police, get a record. American Banks are insured. If the Romanian banks are NOT, then $1000 Dollar loss is NOT something they’d want to fess up too…likely. Again…that would make a good fiction plot…only profit and avoidance of it’s loss is very real to a bank…AND TO PEOPLE. A THOUSAND DOLLAR LOSS WOULD BREAK ME IN HALF…that amount of money would also devastate me too…WORD!!
        I always got my back money in these sorts of situation, but I’m in a country with a lot of safety measures around money. Romania might not have the same system. Try the Video thing again. See if they have one…go from there. It might make them reconsider…your intention more clearly. Proof without doubt.
        The receipt you have with the error message is what might be causing the fight between your bank (which is your advocate) and their bank (fearing loss and a nice little sit down with the authorities within their bank…looking for a culprit…and no one wants to deal with that (1000 buck loss is enough for an instant termination, audit and a scrutiny)

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think they are also insured. They just don’t give a damn considering my bank is from another country, I am not their client.

          Right now, I think they are basically stalling as much as possible.

          If it takes 90 days to fix this (as I have read on some community forums) then they get to make use of those funds for that time period.

          I have read articles that sometimes the ATM dispensed funds, but failed to withdraw the funds from the account, so then they were the ones who had to ask for their money back. Dunno. All sorts of malfunctions. And this was an article in the Romanian press…

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s funny that they told you that maybe someone came behind you…and your funds where snatched up by someone else.

            I personally think that would be a rare occurrence…like really rare (Unless that ATM was jacked up…and they knew it or the repair was faulty or the ATM was faulty…and repairs fail several times. They are super super expensive to replace).

            It would be more likely that a person would walk away from their cash. Most ATMs NOW a’days spit your cash out before the card is given back. If you leave your card, the machine captures your card pretty quickly so no one can take that, but it doesn’t work the other way…that cash will just hang out of the machine.

            For what it’s worth…the fact that they mentioned the possibility MIGHT mean someone DID come up behind you and the machine did as they said. Filing a police report would not likely result in a return unless they captured the person’s face on video. THEY WOULD have record of that person’s name (they don’t give money to people without names and cards…that have names tagged on the magnetic strip…EVERYTHING is on record SOMEWHERE).

            It might not hurt to go to the police…just for a record…documented steps you are taking to get your money back. The bank is probably anticipating your won’t go that far (all the steps ARE inhibiting).

            “The squeaky wheel gets oiled” might be a helpful adage to consider.

            Liked by 1 person

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