Man Blows $1.6 Million After Discovering an ATM Glitch

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By: Lauren Wurth | Published: Jun 16, 2022

Dan Saunders was just a bartender from Australia when he discovered an ATM glitch that would end up changing his life in a variety of ways.

It all started one night in Wangaratta when he was out drinking with his friends. The 29 years old went outside of the bar to withdraw some cash from an ATM when he stumbles upon an error that let him withdraw way more cash than he had in his account. Let’s dive into Saunders’ wild story!

The ATM Loophole

When Dan first tried the ATM to get some money for the night, it kept giving him error messages. He transferred $200 from his credit account into his saving account, but the machine said it canceled his transaction.

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He tried one last time to withdraw $200 from his savings account and this time it worked, so he went back to the bar, but that was only just the beginning. Dan thought the situation was strange, so later that night he went back to the ATM and started transferring $500 then $600 into his savings account and withdrawing that money.

Waking Up The Next Morning

Dan admits he was a bit tipsy the night before and just playing around with the machine for fun, until it really set in the next morning what had happened. He checked his bank account and realized he was at negative $2,000, but the ATM still let him take out cash.

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He then transferred $4,000 into his account to get back into the positives. However, in an interview, Dan stated that it was at that moment he realized if he did multiple transfers in a given day, he could “trick the system into thinking [he] had millions.”

And So It Begins

He tested his theory, and ultimately it worked! After many transfers, he went to the bank and was shocked to see his balance add up to one million dollars!

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Saunders revealed that the power he had from manipulating this loophole became rather addicting. He gave some money to his girlfriend, then bought a few rounds for the people at the bar, and his spending spree was just beginning.

A Taste of Being Rich

Dan would go on to throw wild parties, rent private jets, pay off his friends’ student loans, and so much more. He was enjoying his life, experiencing how the rich live.

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He goes on to add that people end up treating you entirely differently once they realize you have money. Even bank tellers would change their tune and be more attentive and polite once they realized he was a millionaire.

Five Months Later, Could He Keep It Up?

Saunders would tell others he was in real estate to explain his fortune. While some of his friends disapproved of what he was doing, thinking he’d eventually get caught, Dan himself was wrapped up in the fortune.

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His lavish lifestyle lasted for five months and neither the bank or the authorities discovered his game. However, eventually some guilt started to set in. Dan would have nightmares and anxiety attacks about getting caught. This caused his to end his own fun.

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Turning Himself In

After five months of exploiting the ATM glitch, Dan began feeling incredibly guilty and decided to turn himself in. He took a step back and asked himself who he even was anymore. His actions were so unlike him that he felt like a movie character.

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Ultimately, Dan didn’t want the authorities to catch him in the act and decided he’d stop with the transfers and let the bank know what he had done. In response, the bank told Dan that he was in a load of trouble and that the police would contact him directly.

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No Followup?

Much to Dan’s surprise, the police never contacted him. Two years had passed and still he heard nothing back nor received any punishments.

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Dan was always curious about when and if any consequences would happen. It felt like an unfinished chapter in his story, yet there was no followup.

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The Guilt Keeps Building

Saunders explains how he began seeing a psychiatrist during this crazy time in his life as the guilt was eating him alive. His first shrink found his situation a bit overwhelming and left him, but his second psychiatrist helped him with his guilt.

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This psychiatrist led Dan to discover that officially turning himself in would be the best way to clear his conscious and help him move on with his life.

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Turning to the Media

To announce the crazy financial glitch he had exploited, Dan took to media outlets and video interviews to share his story. He wasn’t immediately taken seriously, but after multiple appearances with the same story, people began to realize he was telling the truth.

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From there, the authorities took over. He assumed his court case would be a train wreck with extreme consequences, but in reality Dan says that the judge and the prosecutor didn’t fully understand what he had done. In the end, he pled guilty and only received a year in jail.

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Going Back To Normal

After exploiting an ATM loophole for five months, spending $1.6 million dollars, and doing one year in jail, Dan returned to his regular lifestyle as a bartender making $22 per hour.

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Dan admits that the transition back was weird after all that had happened, but it’s slowly feeling more normal. He goes on to warn that it is quite easy to lose track of yourself when faced with temptations. What a wild ride this bartender had!

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