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Warning: it's a crime to use other's forgotten card on ATM

WHEN you see a card left in an ATM by the previous user, don't count yourself lucky. You may be thrown into prison if you draw money from the card.

The Changning District People's Court has handled 10 such cases this year, compared with only two last year.

"Don't be greedy. Even if you are given probation, you will have a criminal record in your resume," said Zhou Yijun, deputy chief judge of the criminal court under the district court. "Many people even didn't know they were committing a crime when they took money from other's card."

People who draw money from the forgotten card will be indicted for credit card fraud, he added.
Defendants included not only low-income people but also some rich ones like private company owners and joint venture employees.

"I was overcome by greed at that time," said Wu Xiaoshuang, an 24-year-old foreign company employee, in a court hearing. "I was unaware of such a serious consequence. Now I'm very regretful."

Wu went to an ATM on Fuquan Road to draw money on June 8. He saw a man left without taking out his card from the machine. Wu drew out 13,500 yuan (US$2,021) in cash from the man's card.

When he was about to leave, the card's owner returned and asked whether Wu had taken money from his card. Wu denied. After Wu got home and thought about the issue again, he surrendered himself to police and returned all the money.

Wu was sentenced to eight months in prison with a one-year reprieve on August 19. He was also fined 20,000 yuan.


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