Yorkshire ATM dispenses mysterious ‘Twenty Poond’ play money

An ATM in Yorkshire dispensed “Twenty Poond” notes that were obviously fake, according to a report in the Guardian Wednesday.

It all started when Guardian editor Jim Waterson went out with a friend to breakfast over the weekend. When the friend went to pay for the meal with two 20 pound notes, the waiter took a second look at the notes, which had “Twenty Poond” and “this note is play money, not for use” written across them. Needless to say, the waiter would not accept the money.

Waterson’s friend got the notes from an ATM at the Lancaster branch of the Yorkshire the weekend before, and now the Yorkshire building society is investigating matter.

“My friend got the cash out and didn’t think twice — after all, who closely examines banknotes when they come out of a high street ATM?” Waterson said in the report.

The ATM, located at a bank branch, was replenished by a third-party supplier. The Yorkshire building society said that the contractor that operates the cash machine on the bank’s behalf is investigating the matter.

Link, which manages the country’s cash machines, said it is taking the matter seriously.

“We are investigating as obviously this should not happen, either by error or deliberate fraud,” Graham Mott, Link head of strategy, told ATM Marketplace in an email.

He said it was not clear whether the ATM was at fault for not detecting the notes, a process not being followed or a human being making a genuine mistake.

“It doesn’t look like fraud as the notes are too obviously not real,” he said.

He added that any customer who receives questionable notes from an ATM should take the notes to their nearest branch.