Thanks to a computer glitch in Commonwealth Bank ATMs in Australia, people were able to withdraw fistfuls of “free money.”
The mix-up caused pandemonium at over 40 branches, where people queued in lines 30 deep to get their gratis cash. Mobs continued to grow in size as social networking sites like Twitter helped spread the word.
The ATM glitch made it possible for members with mere pennies in their account to withdraw hundreds of dollars, but police warn that this fraudulent overdrawing is punishable by law. Those caught could face up to 10 years in prison.
Two men ages 18 and 20 have already been charged and are facing possible jail sentences.
Once the bank can provide authorities with withdrawal records, more people will be penalized and the bank will recover the lost funds.
“No one has received free cash,” said Commonwealth Bank spokesman Bryan Fitzgerald.
Commonwealth Bank only found out about the glitch after customers phoned in to complain about the long queues. After eight hours of people taking advantage of the malfunction, a technical team corrected the mistake at around 5pm.
Until the bank can organize withdrawal records, the amount of money taken remains unknown.