Fairly often I make a cash deposit through the ATM of my bank. How safe is this? How does the bank prevent whoever takes the deposits out of the machine from pocketing the cash and claiming the customer forgot to enclose it? Over the years I’ve made a lot of cash deposits of this type and have never had any problems with it.
Not a bank worker, but have it on good authority (I asked this same question of my credit union).
My local credit union has three people work on retrieving ATM deposits. One person opens the envelopes, the second person records the information and verifies that employee #1 did not pocket, lose or misplace the money (cash or checks). The third person is a supervisor over the other two and makes sure that neither employee #1 nor employee #2 pocketed, lost or misplaced the deposit. In addition, there is a closed-circuit camera recording everything, making sure that supervisor is not in cahoots with employee #1 or employee #2 or both.
Do not do this!!! Do not deposit money without a receipt!
Valley View State Bank here in Kansas City had serious problems with this several years ago, where one employee was in charge of getting the ATM deposits, and was making several of the smaller ones…how shall we say, disappear? And if you complain to the bank, there is not a thing they can do about it. They say “Well, the bank wasn’t $400 richer that day than expected, so BUH-BYE!”
Please…do not deposit your own money without a receipt!
As a former bank teller (one of my many jobs) I can tell you that the ATM deposits are no different than the night deposits. There was nothing to keep us from stealing the money except honesty and fear of prosecution. Oddly enough, after you work with lots of money, it doesn’t even seem real to you. I imagine that it’s the same with folks who work with diamonds or other valubles.
That said, if a deposit was off it did need to be varified by another employee, but we didn’t use the screech-owl method. The ATM room had it’s own cameras, so I suppose if there had been a dispute it would have been captured.
One more thing, I don’t know how the other ATM deposits are handled (i.e. ATMs in supermarkets) so I’d be reluctant to deposit cash in any but those at a branch office.
Anthracite, I have to differ with you on this.
There is a redundency with the system the way it works for just such a reason. The system Screech-Owl described is virtually the same everywhere. There is 3 people and at least two video cameras. The second video camera is the one in the machine itself that videotapes YOU putting the cash in the envelope, in addition to one more that is sometimes in the “back room” behind the machines. In addition to this, from what I understand the same people that are in the room “counting” the deposits are not the same that have access to the tape, for added security.
I have deposited thousands of dollars over the years in cash (I prefer cheque, but sometimes its not convenient) and I have never had a problem. An endorsed cheque could just as easily be cashed by an unscrupulous (sp?) bank employee as well.
Let me phrase the “almost everywhere” that I used
My sisters are bank tellers. 1 in Canada and 1 in LA. I have asked them that exact same question and they both game me the same answer, and in addition I asked a teller at the bank that I deal with, same answer.
Perhaps my sample of three isn’t quite good enough to qualify as an “everywhere”
If so, it sure is new here. Not only was my sister a teller at a bank here, but I had a friend who collected the money from ATMs as well for a different chain of banks (no, he did not steal anything I know of)
With all due respect, the camera on the ATM is useless for counting how much cash is put into the machine, or whether the cash is even real or not.
The point is, whether or not you believe it happens where you have experience, it did happen here. And may very well happen or be happening in other places. Banks have a wide variety of security levels, and there is no industry standard for monitoring or regulating how money collected from ATM deposits is verified or counted, or how many cameras there are, etc. At least in the US.
Well, sure - if you endorse your check with no regard to your account number. If you endorse it “For Deposit Only, Acct. # XXXXX” then it is not just as easily cashed as, well, cash.
Even if you do just blindly endorse it, when you go back to Joe Blow who wrote you the check and get the copy of the cancelled check and it says “Deposited to the account of Ethel Teller, Bank of Deceit” you can call the cops. Sure, the dishonest person can just ‘cash’ the check at your bank, then you’re screwed. Just don’t endorse the check that way.
Bank of America, which is like the largest bank in the USA, has two people next to each other opening the cash deposits, watching each other.
Many years ago I made an ATM deposit but didn’t put the money in the envelope. Ah ha, I didn’t get the credit for it.
Based on 18 Years in the Banking Business. Dual control is practiced by every Bank that even pretends to have some degree of internal control in their operations. Whenever a shortage might occur, the individuals that were responsible for the count are noted. A teller could probably getaway with it a time or two, but the pattern will be noticed fairly quickly. As for check theft from an ATM, it would be difficult for anyone at that level (Teller/Customer Service) to hide the paper trail in the negotiation of the instrument.
With all that said, I would NEVER deposit cash into an ATM and would only deposit a check if there was no reasonable alternative. Bad things can and will happen. No sence in taking chances when you don’t need to.
If you need to deposit cash, put it in an envelope and drop it into the envelope slot for the night depository at the Bank. This area is monitored more carefully than ATM deposits due to the large dollar volume.
I use B of A
A couple of months ago, I made a $893 deposit, $540 of which was in cash. (counted it three times before I put it in the envelope, btw) A few weeks later, I got a letter telling me that I had made a “mistake” when filling in my deposit slip, and was credited with a $793 deposit.
I didn’t bother to report it because, let’s face it, I had no proof. Gotta give the thief credit, though. At least s/he was smart enough not to take the entire cash portion of my deposit.
I’m considering changing banks anyway, because BofA’s customer service felches dead muskrats, but I will never, ever deposit cash in an ATM again.
I’ve had disputes with the bank over ATM deposits.
One time I deposited a check to myself from another bank.
They (Wells Fargo) said “Your envelope was empty. We had two tellers confirm this.”
When I proved to them that it had cleared my other bank with their mark on the back they relented. But it was over two weeks later. Where the money had gone in the meantime, they wouldn’t say, but I presume to the account of someone above me in the pile, when two envelopes got stuck together.
Since that time I have used my rubber signature stamp with the account number on it on both the checks AND the deposit envelope. I’m not sure how that would help, but I think it might have solved the problem at the moment it happened, instead of well after the fact.