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Five million people admit to walking away from a cash machine without their money

8th January 2014 Print

The Christmas and New Year break is a season of nights out for many of us. However, there may be a few who reached the bar only to realise the money they’d drawn out to buy a round for their friends was missing from their wallet – and not because they’d lost it, but because they forgot to take it from the cash point when they withdrew it. In fact, almost one in 10 people admit to walking away from a cash machine without collecting their money, according to research from thinkmoney.
The budgeting account provider asked people if they had ever accidently turned their back on a cash machine without pocketing their notes, with five million UK adults (9%) saying that they had done so.
It seems the younger generation are the most likely to forget to collect their cash after withdrawing it, with 14% of 18-24 year olds admitting to this.
This makes them almost five times more likely than their older counterparts to walk away without the money they requested. In fact just 3% of people aged over 65 have failed to pick up their cash after specifically going to get money out.
It's not just age that impacts forgetful behaviour at the ATM; it also varies depending on where people live.
People in the North East (15%) and London (13%) are among the most likely to walk away from a cash machine without their money, while just 6% of those in the East Midlands say they are guilty of this.
Ian Williams from thinkmoney said: "It seems that quite a few of us will admit to leaving the cash machine without our money – perhaps in some cases when we are enjoying a ’good night out’. This isn’t always a problem as the machine will reclaim the money after a few seconds and it will either be re-credited to your account automatically or after you have reported it to your account provider.
“However, it makes sense to be very vigilant whilst using the ATM, as some crooks will try to distract you so they can snatch the money. At the very least, by paying attention at the cash point you avoid the embarrassment of arriving at your destination and finding yourself out of pocket.”