A quiet village in Hampshire was the scene of chaos for several hours yesterday as a cash machine started to pay out double what was requested. During a 2 hour period around 2 hundred people descended on the cash machine in Milford-on-Sea, near Lymington as word spread of the impromptu windfalls.
Long queues formed rapidly as word spread as around 200 people tried to get their share of the booty before the police turned up to close off the stream of free money.
One villager who spoke to the Daily Mail, who asked not to be named, said: ‘Some people used five or six bank cards and got £300 free with each card. At first it was all very jovial but it got a bit aggressive at one point when people started pushing in the queue.’
Once police turned up at the scene they even took to using Twitter to tell people to stay away with tweets such as: ‘If you get a call that the ATM at HSBC in Milford-on-Sea is dishing out too much money – we are there already – Sorry folks!’ and ‘If you have knowingly received too much money from an ATM, the banks will chase you as this may be classed as fraud.’
The lucky people have nothing to worry about though and can enjoy their free cash; HSBC have said that they will not be asking for the money to be returned as the mistake was theirs.
A HSBC spokesman said it wasn’t the customers’ fault that the machine was faulty. He said: ‘The machine was mis-dispensing and we won’t be requesting the funds back. It is certainly not the liability of the customers.’
James Jewell-Hazelton, 26, an employee at the off license next door said: ‘It was hilarious – more and more people just kept arriving. ‘But when the police arrived the crowd of people went off merrily down the road – I’m sure the pubs in the village did very well that night.’