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Disch
05-18-2006, 10:08 PM
So my friend A comes over and convinces me to go out to this bowling alley / bar. I don't have anything else going on so I figure "what the hell". I climb in the car with him and we go to pick up R and P (two friends who will be joining us). Once they're both in the car, it dawns on me I'll need cash, so I get them to stop at the ATM outside my bank.

The ATM has a note taped to it saying something about "if your card doesn't work blah blah blah". It makes no mention that the ATM is out of order, and it appears to be functioning fine, so without giving a second thought I put in my card. Nothing happens after that, it eats my card and I can't get it to eject. I go back to the car and yell to A, R and P telling them what happened, they all climb out of the car.

Just then these other two dudes come up to me saying "hey wait don't use this ATM, it just ate our card!". They said they were going to go home and call the bank tomorrow when it opened, suggesting we do the same without specifically saying so.

But A is a big loudmouth "take-charge" kind of guy, so he's like "no way man, let's get your card back!". He works at In-n-Out burger (restaurant chain in the southwest, primarily California) -- and as a worker there he has this gigantic safety pin they use to hold up their aprons. He busts it out and starts using it to pick at the slot in the ATM trying to fish out my card.

R seems him doing this and steps in saying "dude are you stupid? There's a camera right there... it looks like you're trying to rob the ATM". So A stops.. but he still wants to do something.

Personally, I don't really care and I am willing to leave and call the bank in the morning, but A is adamant about getting my card back. So he's like "Hey! Let's call 911! I've got my cell phone right here". I start arguing with him saying that this isn't an emergency, but he insists "yeah it is, you need your ATM card! This is what 911 is for!".

While A and I argue back and forth about whether or not we should call 911, another car drives up and two more people step out. It turns out it's the bank manager and her husband. She walks up to the ATM, looks at the note and pulls it off saying "this is a scam. People put this note on the ATM, and then use your card to pull money out of your account after you leave". I feel like a grade-A chump falling for such a ruse.

Then a thought dawns on A. "Hey... if they're waiting around for us to leave, they must still be nearby!" So like a madman, he starts running through the parking lot looking for people sitting in empty cars. I don't know what he expects to do if he happens to find someone...

The manager's husband is on the phone with the police. They say we should hang around until they show up. There's a Carl's Jr. on the other side of the parking lot, so R and me decide to get a burger. A few minutes after we get back, the police show up and begin asking us all questions.

The two dudes that were around earlier seem to have vanished. The manager suspects they were the ones that were running the scam. They must have been freaking out when A was talking about calling 911 and doing all his crazy shit. Man I wish I made the connection sooner.

We give a statement to the police. I get my card back. Disaster is averted. A asks the cops whether or not the situation was an event worth of calling 911, the cop gives a very polite way of saying "no way, are you nuts?"

We finally get to bowling alley only to discover P forgot his ID. He tries to get in without it but his boyish looks prevent it. We drive back to his place, he picks up his ID, but by the time we make it back to the place, bowling has closed and it's pretty much just a bar now. R and I don't really drink, and A is driving, so things are looking like they're going to be pretty lame.
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Lenophis
05-18-2006, 10:53 PM
Wow, the misadventures of a bad night on the town. <img src=smilies/magbiggrin.gif> It was an experience, if nothing else. Right?
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pipes
05-18-2006, 11:26 PM
Man. Lucky that the manager walked up just then because your friend would have called 911 and it would have pissed them off.
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Ugly Joe
05-18-2006, 11:43 PM
Sounds like a http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/scams/atmtheft.htmLebanese Loop</a>.
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Lillymon
05-18-2006, 11:51 PM
> Sounds like a Lebanese Loop.

I immediately thought of that. I also had another thought when I read about those guys saying it had eaten their cards too. It was "Why would anyone make an ATM that was physically capable of holding more than one card at once? What possible advantage would there be?".

I'm just glad he didn't get his card stolen.
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Fla Flash
05-19-2006, 12:25 AM
Dude.
Next time, if ever, I'm out your way we need to hang out. It could be fun.<img src=smilies/magbiggrin.gif>
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The 9th Sage
05-19-2006, 03:46 AM
That sucks, just be happy you got your card back...those yahoos would probably have taken every cent in your bank account...it did seem kind of suspicious that they suddenly appeared (why on earth were they apparently hanging around out of sight?) after the thing ate your ATM card. I don't know if I'd have realized it at the time either but jeez...people like that...freaking jerks.
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