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[ISN] Citibank limits ATM cash in city


By Kerry Burke and Larry McShane
Daily News Staff Writers
January 3rd 2008

A jump in ATM fraud led Citibank to slash the maximum amount of cash 
available to customers from their accounts - a security move greeted 
warily Wednesday by its patrons.

The new cap on cash kicked out by the company's ATMs began in 
mid-December after what Citibank called "isolated fraudulent activity" 
around the city.

The bank, with 134 branches around town, would not say how many 
customers were affected or how much money was involved.

One Brooklyn woman said she went to her bank branch on Christmas Eve and 
was unable to take out her normal cash limit, so she called customer 

"She told me customer accounts had been hacked into through cash 
machines around the city," the woman said.

"As a result, the bank had decided to slash how much customers could 
withdraw from their own accounts. They cut my amount in half.

"She said most New York customers were affected and she suggested I 
change my password."

The bank insisted the problem was not national in scope, although it 
would not provide any other information. Citibank declined to specify 
the amount of the new withdrawal cap.

"Though we can't provide details of ongoing security investigations, we 
are working closely with law enforcement on this matter," the bank said 
in a two-paragraph statement.

Citibank customers were divided over the new policy.

"It's your account and your money," said Mari Lopez, 22, a Manhattan 

Manhattan truck driver Hamadou Boureima favored the move.

"It's a good idea. In case someone steals your card and identity, you'll 
have some money left," Boureima said at a Manhattan Citibank branch. 
"Otherwise, someone can take everything."

Customers caught short of cash when making ATM withdrawals can call 
customer service and get instant access to more money, Citibank said.

The bank said customers were not responsible for fraudulent activity in 
their accounts.

That didn't pacify Pam Tinney, 43, of the Bronx, who felt the new limit 
was an overreaction.

"If they made the ATMs more secure, we wouldn't have to worry," she 
said. "It's our money. We should be able to take out any amount we want, 
when we want."

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