Are Cardless ATMs Safe? $3,000 Goes Missing From Man’s Chase Account

Image courtesy of Santos “Grim Santo” Gonzalez

Last year, Chase began installing cardless ATMs that allowed users to withdraw cash and perform other tasks by inputting a code sent to their banking app at the machine. While the system can be convenient and might relieve some of the worry of using ATMs compromised with a skimmer, the new machines pose other threats as one man learned when $3,000 disappeared from his account.

Back in November, a man noticed that his online Chase account had been compromised and $3,000 had been withdrawn from a cardless ATM in another city, his father tells Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Teresa Dixon Murray.

Upon learning of the theft, the man visited his local Chase branch where he was first told that someone had written a check for the missing $3,000, and then told that someone had used the bank’s app to “hack” his account and then used one of the company’s new cardless ATMs to complete the transaction.

The new ATMs utilize a system that allows customers to perform tasks by inputting a six-digit code found on their Chase mobile app, as well as their PIN. Customers are able to withdraw up to $3,000 — the exact amount the man’s account was missing.

He filed a police report in both his city and that where the theft took place, and Chase opened an investigation into the matter, providing the man with a $3,000 provisional credit.

In the following days, the man was locked out of his account when someone once again attempted to access it though the bank’s app. He returned to the branch and had the password reset.

Soon after, he received a letter from Chase that the investigation into the missing money had closed, but not in his favor, and the $3,000 was removed.

At this point, the man’s father stepped in. As a Preferred Chase Private client, the father’s branch manager said he would get to the bottom of the issue, and provided the family with a global security number for the police to call in order to get video footage of the ATM used to withdraw the $3,000.

It was through this contact, that the family learned other customers had been victims of similar hacks, with one couple losing $7,000.

The Plain Dealer reports that Chase finally refunded the man’s $3,000. Still, the family wonders why they weren’t notified immediately when the unusual withdrawal was made.

A spokesperson for Chase tells the Plain Dealer that the bank does offer free text and email alerts to notify customers of certain transactions. The account holder can customize the notification for any withdrawal or transaction above $100.

While the man now has his money back, questions over the security of the new ATMs remain. We’ve reached out to Chase regarding the safety of the machines, if it is aware of other similar thefts, and how customers can ensure their accounts are secured.