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Two R.I. Teens Bilk Bank Cash Machine Out of Thousands of Dollars

Aired May 18, 2000 - 2:37 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: In Rhode Island, police say two teenagers with quick minds and fast fingers bilked a bank cash machine out of thousands of dollars. They say the teens spotted a weakness in the ATM's computer program.

Reporter Rosalind Jordan shows us how the plan worked and why bank customers should be extra careful when withdrawing cash from any ATM.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROSALIND JORDAN, WFXT REPORTER (voice-over): At the mall, hungry? Usually there is an ATM in the food court. But Providence police say one group of teens didn't use this ATM at the Providence Place Mall for lunch money. Police say the kids stole at least $20,000 from it, and many of their victims probably have no idea they were robbed.

LT. PAUL KENNEDY, PROVIDENCE, R.I. POLICE: As they were using the machine, the kids would spy over their shoulder and grab their pin number.

JORDAN: Police say, the kids looked for people who walked away from the ATM without logging off. Then they would rush over, enter the PIN again, and make another withdrawal from the victim's account. Then, it was party time.

KENNEDY: The other moneys were used for a host of different things, from buying an automobile, to buying a jet ski, limo rides, dinners, clothing, things of that nature.

BOB GORMLEY, CITIZEN'S BANK: We are going to reimburse, these customers will not lose any money, this is going to be our loss.

(on camera): Well, once Citizen's Bank found out there actually was a scam going on, they changed the computer program. So once you are done taking out money, the machine shuts down. That is keeping everyone else from trying to get into your account.

(voice-over): But other banks may not have changed their machines. So police say, don't be in such a hurry to get your money and walk away. KENNEDY: Wait for them to ask the question: Do you wish to make another transaction, and hit no. And immediately the machine will be shut down, and no one will have access to it

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATERS: That report from Rosalind Jordan of CNN affiliate WFXT.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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