r/technology Sep 18 '22 Silver 1

Google accidentally transferred a quarter of a million dollars to a blogger and took almost a month to ask for it back Security

https://www.businessinsider.com/google-accidentally-transfers-blogger-quarter-million-dollars-ask-it-back-2022-9
3.0k Upvotes

412

u/DimiBlue Sep 18 '22

Happen in Japan a while ago when the local government accidentally transferred everyone’s stimulus payment to one guy.

144

u/AlucardSX Sep 18 '22

Look, if someone wants to send me a couple hundred grand, I promise I'll feel suitably stimulated.

39

u/c4etech Sep 18 '22 edited Sep 18 '22

Cool mate.. Pm me your account details alongside ID verification, social security and a few other things 😂😂😂

24

u/A_Gent_4Tseven Sep 18 '22

Isn’t it fun? Sharing little stories about yourself online! Some of my favorites to tell people is shit like My Mother’s maiden name, stuff like what my first pet was named, the make and model of my first car, the high school I graduated from, my home town! Why don’t you also share some of these details with me?! Let’s be friends!!!

10

u/Lostcreek3 Sep 18 '22

My first pet was dog, and vehicle was car. Do you need anything else?

10

u/A_Gent_4Tseven Sep 18 '22

Preferably the last four of your social so I know we’re REALLY friends.

7

u/MrYellowDuckMan Sep 18 '22

Sure, it’s 1337. Thanks for being my friend!

3

u/A_Gent_4Tseven Sep 19 '22

You thought your first friendship would be real, but it wasn’t. It was with I, DIO!

3

u/Channel250 Sep 19 '22

If you threw a party, and invited everyone you know....

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9

u/DragoonDM Sep 18 '22

Maybe they were just going with the "handing out homework in class" method of distribution; take your stimulus payment, pass the rest back to the row behind you.

31

u/Snuffy1717 Sep 18 '22

Capitalism in fast motion, with the wrong person at the top though.

685

u/theonlybuster Sep 18 '22

The amount of money Google makes per month, week, day, and hour -- I'm surprised they noticed as quickly as they did. Though it was probably only realized after a month because some Controller was going over vendor accounts and noticed something was off.

Google misplacing 250k is like a normal person misplacing $1, if not less.

384

u/luckykrys Sep 18 '22

No, the guy that got the money kept trying to contact them for a month to return it, and he was very close to just keeping it.

186

u/[deleted] Sep 18 '22 edited Sep 27 '22

[deleted]

28

u/monsto Sep 18 '22

I had this happen with about 150k one time. I separated it into a new account from my main business account where it was deposited and let it sit there.

Month and a half later, my bank put a freeze on the 2nd account when the depositor demanded refunt. After some bank investigation, they unfroze the account basically saying "it's yours now". Homeland Security and FBI came around saying the depositor claimed fraud. After a couple of interviews, that went away too.

Banks don't fuck around with money. But the government doesn't fuck around either. That means that everyone is subject to the laws. If the rule/law is "you have 30 days", then when google comes asking for the money at 32 days, then google is out $250k especially if this guy has a paper trail of trying to contact them.

13

u/Onion-Fart Sep 18 '22

damn must have felt nice with that payday congrats!

12

u/monsto Sep 18 '22

even back then, it didn't last very long. Paid off debts and had a nice vacation and that was it. couple months later, I was back to the grind, but without CC and car payments is the key.

4

u/cableshaft Sep 18 '22

Could have put it all into dividend stocks and have earned approx $7500 every year without touching it.

I probably would have done the same as you back in the day (I did burn through a $25k inheritance depressingly quick, with several medical and car problems that cost about half of that not too long after getting it), but if I had realized I could just have a "free" $7500 a year and still keep the money, I'd probably do the latter.

5

u/monsto Sep 19 '22 edited Sep 19 '22

I did a ton of research into investments, talked to accountants and a whole bunch of shit.

Bottom line came down to the fact that I could give us 7%/yr on just one car payment, nevermind the cc and school loans.

That was ~10 yrs ago. Boy if I'd put at least part of it in a Roth . . .

3

u/MDev01 Sep 19 '22

I have been a saver all my life. Try to live frugally and keep away from debt. I get nothing but half joking comments about being “weird with money”. There is a societal pressure in the US to spend like your life depends on it because “ you deserve it”. It’s a hard trend to buck but it has to be done.

85

u/Good_ApoIIo Sep 18 '22

This doesn’t seem to be the case for the bank’s end. IIRC there’s tons of stories out there of people waking up to find the bank accidentally transferred money to their account or an ATM fucked up and those people were legally in deep shit for “theft” if they used the money.

Same thing if an employer overpays you. I swear that zelle/Venmo shit about you being SOL is bullshit if you actually challenged it.

Transfer errors are not free money and I would do everything I could to return the money too.

71

u/ninjacereal Sep 18 '22

At the bottom of this article it talks about crypto.com accidently sending $10.5m.

At $250k it isn't worth it, but at $10.5m I would consider finding a nice country where legal action wouldn't be enforced to spend the rest of my life.

44

u/Lezlow247 Sep 18 '22

Even 250k. Take the money. Then invest it conservatively. When they come back for the money say you spent it but you will make payments. Now you got a 250k loan that could generate passive income. Or it could go tits up. Idk stocks only go up right?!

30

u/raziel1012 Sep 18 '22

damages often accrue interest after judgement.

9

u/reddditttt12345678 Sep 18 '22

Usually only at the risk-free rate, though. So potentially still some profit to be had if you invest it.

2

u/chillbro_bagginz Sep 18 '22

Really understating the risk part though. Could be 10 years before you’re in the green.

3

u/luckykrys Sep 18 '22

Does crypto have the same rules as banks in that regard? Crypto seems like a free for all to begin with, with all the talk of being unregulated and not being like banks, that when I first heard about that story I laughed.

2

u/ninjacereal Sep 18 '22

I think it was a cash transfer from the company crypto.com, not a transfer of crypto currency?

2

u/_Rand_ Sep 19 '22

With crypto they could be totally fucked, and relying on you to give it back.

They could of course take you to court, but depending on who lives where there are a bunch of issues there.

And that's assuming they even know who you are, crypto wallets can be entirely anonymous for example, and it would be entirely possible for the money to be moved to secondary places/sold etc.

So there is a lot of 'it depends' in the situation, but the chances of it going badly for the person mistakenly sending the money with little to no recourse is MUCH higher.

17

u/Good_ApoIIo Sep 18 '22

You do you. Being a fugitive isn’t worth any amount of money to me.

8

u/Dusty170 Sep 18 '22

Not really a fugitive if you never plan on going back.

6

u/charming_liar Sep 18 '22

$250k ain’t really new life money.

11

u/Warfeint Sep 18 '22

Only problem you would face is if the country eventually signs an extradition treaty with the US, or if you are captured in an illegal raid by a US bureau.

8

u/Good_ApoIIo Sep 18 '22

Or you know, if you care about ever seeing your home or family again. Those things are valuable to me, personally. I like where I live even if I struggle financially.

4

u/Warfeint Sep 18 '22

They sound like they either don’t have those things, or don’t care about them. The other option is moving your immediately family if they agree.

Imo it’s too much risk for me. I would have just taken the advice by putting the money into an interest bearing account and by fighting them in court for as long as possible.

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1

u/voodoo_wavelength Sep 18 '22

What about 100 billion dollars?

15

u/Mikeavelli Sep 18 '22

That actually flips the calculus back to giving it back. No one who had $100 billion to lose is going to care about the lack of an extradition treaty.

7

u/X-istenz Sep 18 '22

Yeah but what are they gonna do now they're broke

8

u/Mikeavelli Sep 18 '22

Maybe they're broke, maybe they're not. You gotta ask yourself one question: "do I feel lucky?"

Well do ya, punk?

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1

u/Meinfailure Sep 19 '22

They have connections. That is rich people's real currency

5

u/conanf77 Sep 18 '22

You’re aware crypto types are of the more Libertarian persuasion, and probably wouldn’t be adverse to spending a good fraction of that amount on some specialists to get the money back from you. Vs a regular bank, that is. Especially in a country where laws are less enforced.

3

u/Hodr Sep 18 '22

You're not SOL in the Venmo case from a legal stand point, you're SOL from forcing the third party to intercede on your behalf.

Same if you wrote a check for the wrong amount and the person who cashed it doesn't want to refund the money. You go to the police, not the bank.

1

u/Rarvyn Sep 18 '22

If you voluntarily wrote that check and they didn’t criminally defraud you, you can try to sue- but the police won’t do anything to help.

1

u/Hodr Sep 19 '22

That was my point, the bank isn't responsible. Same if you accidentally Venmo too much money.

1

u/Paulo27 Sep 18 '22

Where I live you're not required to return the money if your employer sends too much.

-1

u/joethejedi67 Sep 18 '22

They may threaten a theft charge but that isnt theft, or any other crime.

5

u/Good_ApoIIo Sep 18 '22

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/personal-finance/bank-error-your-favor-can-you-keep-cash-n735316

Good luck to you if you decide the money is yours. People have gone to jail for doing so.

-3

u/joethejedi67 Sep 18 '22

One state cited- Georgia. The article doesn’t even give any facts about that one case they cite. You know every state has its own law right?

This is a civil issue. The bank could sue you for unjust fuel enrichment or something. They want you to think you would go to jail because the fear works in their favor. BUT without criminal intent you can’t be convicted of a crime

1

u/RareFirefighter6915 Sep 18 '22

Not right away they will usually put you on a payment plan if you can’t pay it all back right away. Usually it’s people who refuse and have to be taken to court for repayment because there’s no other option.

1

u/bobert680 Sep 18 '22

If your employer over pays you don't have to give it back. They can usually get the bank to get it back for them and they might need a lawyer but don't just volunteer to give it back until they are willing to go to court for it.

1

u/Good_ApoIIo Sep 18 '22 edited Sep 18 '22

Yes you do lol, where are you guys getting this info? Have fun getting sued and fired by your employer. I just asked my FIL, a lawyer, you cannot just take money that isn’t yours just because it was mistakenly given to you. Especially if you don’t inform the other party of the mistake.

You don’t just assume it’s a gift, that’s going to put you in a world of hurt and I hope other people reading these replies don’t think they’re legally okay in doing so.

1

u/RareFirefighter6915 Sep 18 '22

Usually they don’t go straight into charging you for theft if you spend it. They just make you pay it back and work out a payment plan for the rest and only go to court if the person refuses to pay it back. These mistakes happen more often than people think, it’s usually human error, someone typing in the wrong number. Less common these days with more complex automated systems but when mistakes do happen it tends to be worse.

1

u/debaterIsright Sep 19 '22

What if we all accidentally transfer money the wrong people and ask for it back?

1

u/hamilkwarg Sep 19 '22

I would think Venmo is just the money transmitter. You’d have a claims against whomever you actually sent the money to, but Venmo did nothing wrong. They sent the money where you instructed and I doubt they would be liable for your error. The example with the bank is different.

1

u/HasAngerProblem Sep 19 '22

250k is enough to live off of till the statute of limitations on the debt goes away atleast in my state that’s 6 years. That’s a comfortable 6 years of no work that sounds beautiful

103

u/Wakingupisdeath Sep 18 '22

I’m not sure the rules with corporations but I know with banks you have to legally give it back.

97

u/xabhax Sep 18 '22

Banks have a certain time to ask for the money back. If they don't ask for it back in the specified time, they can't get it back

26

u/LordVic Sep 18 '22

Check regions and laws.

In Canada there's no statute of limitations. Bank, Payroll, or tax error in your favour is never "yours" and can be demanded back at any time that the institution notices the error.

The laws are almost entirely on the financial institutions side. Taking any money not intended for you in error, and with holding it from them is considered a crime.

7

u/woahjohnsnow Sep 18 '22

What about interest on the money in a high yield savings?

Could that be clawed back in theory.

6

u/LordVic Sep 18 '22

if you are talking about using the error as principle in an investment?

Yes. At this point I'd recommend just talking to a lawyer.

33

u/Wakingupisdeath Sep 18 '22

Guess it depends where you live but I know in the Uk you can’t or you’ll be liable to be charged with theft even and I don’t believe there’s a expiry date on that.

Whether they find out or not is another matter and if they do are you able to pay it back?

5

u/PSX_ Sep 18 '22

That’s not at all true, have you even heard of the law “finders keepers, losers weepers?” /s

1

u/kju Sep 18 '22

the omni bot has clearly fallen under the finders keepers law of america

21

u/Ok_Kale_2509 Sep 18 '22

I believe legally he would be in the clear. My company overpaid someone for months but because it was their error they couldn't even reprimand him for it.

That being said, I would not want googles legal team considering trying to get it back from me.

68

u/taedrin Sep 18 '22

I believe legally he would be in the clear.

There are countless news articles that demonstrate that this is not the case. If a company accidentally deposits money into your account, you do not get to keep it and you will go to jail if you spend it.

The only time you would be legally in the clear is if you have a justifiable reason to believe that the money was supposed to be sent to you to begin with.

Bank errors are never in your favor.

20

u/xabhax Sep 18 '22

You are correct. But Google is not a bank. Those laws are specific to banks.

17

u/taedrin Sep 18 '22 edited Sep 18 '22

It's not just banks. The only time you get to legally keep the money is if they intentionally give you the money. They might need to hire lawyers to subpoena the banks to find out where the money went, but once they find where it went they can sue you to get it back.

The confusion may be that if it isn't the bank's error, then it isn't the bank's responsibility to correct it. Individuals oftentimes do not have the financial means to hire the lawyers necessary to correct such mistakes.

1

u/Skydog87 Sep 18 '22

I would argue that putting that money into my account was intent. They had to enter my account number and an amount and verify the transaction, that’s three steps they had to intentionally take and could have stopped at any of them if they were wrong.

1

u/taedrin Sep 19 '22

You could certainly try to argue that in front of a judge, but my understanding is that there is a considerable amount of case law that would contradict that position.

1

u/Skydog87 Sep 19 '22

Yeah, it seems so. I honestly would not have known other than this post that it was wrong. But, now that I know that you must return the money I wonder if any banks deliberately do this to hide money from time to time.

1

u/O118999881999II97253 Sep 18 '22

So would it be okay if in the time frame between the accidentally deposit and the weeks/months until they ask for it back that you put it in a high yield interest vehicle, can you keep the interest?

0

u/GlowGreen1835 Sep 18 '22

Yeah, there's no reason that wouldn't work, they're only entitled to the amount they originally gave you. No adjusting for inflation or anything either.

2

u/ninjacereal Sep 18 '22

So the blogger should've put all $250k into $BBBY calls? Got it.

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1

u/woahjohnsnow Sep 18 '22

This is a weird one, but what if they deposited 1 million and then your bank went bankrupt? You would be in the clear right? They would only get to claw back your account value minus 250k from the fdic insurance payout. Like if you had 250k in a bank account, they deposit in error 1 million. You would get full payout from insurance and they would get 0 dollars back.

1

u/taedrin Sep 19 '22

This specific scenario likely has not yet been covered by case law. While FDIC insurance only guarantees $250k in deposits, the fact of the matter is that during a bank failure the FDIC almost always finds a volunteer bank that is willing to assume all deposits at full value (though sometimes they will not assume brokered deposits).

That being said, so long as you didn't touch the money, it most likely has nothing to do with you. The depositor would have to take action against the failed bank to get their money back, or hope that the originating bank is able to reverse the transaction.

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1

u/b4ttlepoops Sep 18 '22

You forget just how powerful the rich are. They have great influence. They can steal from us with no consequences, not the other way around. I’m not singling individuals out in this instance, as it’s a corporation. The same principle would apply. Try going against a entire team of Googles lawyers with the argument of “ finders keepers”, I woke up and found it was in my account but knew it wasn’t mine, but they gave it to me….. Municipalities make mistakes with payroll rarely, but it happens. Idiots will go on a spending spree. They have their checks docked until the money is paid in full. It’s not a free ride.

1

u/TheLordB Sep 18 '22

I mean they definitely can be.

You have to make some reasonable effort to return it and be prepared to pay it back if asked.

I would say 1 message a week to their provided method of contact for a month or two and keeping it in a safe investment where you can pay it back immediately would put you in the clear. You probably would want to chat with a lawyer to understand how long you need to have it available based on statue of limitations.

Ymmv, laws vary widely. Getting in criminal trouble as long as you give the money back when asked would be unlikely in most, but not all locations.

1

u/bwrca Sep 18 '22

What counts as 'keeping it'? What if I pretend I never saw it and leave it unspent for a year?

2

u/LordVic Sep 18 '22

if you can return it upon request, than likelihood of any action taken against you is next to nil.

-2

u/Cheeze_It Sep 18 '22

Hmm, what if one invests it. Technically it's not spending....

5

u/popswiss Sep 18 '22

NAL, but a lot of industries would be out of business if they couldn’t recoup. Google will just recoup it on the next payment/bill. This is not monopoly lol - you don’t just get money because “bank error”.

That said, big companies won’t recoup below a certain threshold because it’s not worth fighting in court. In most cases, the money will go back to the originator.

2

u/[deleted] Sep 18 '22 edited Sep 27 '22

[deleted]

11

u/Ok_Kale_2509 Sep 18 '22

I haven't gone over googles budget but I think they also have $250,000 for lawyers. And more than one company has lost money on something like this to send a message.

2

u/lolKronch1 Sep 18 '22

Google already has lawyers and they’re worth a lot more than what you can get for the entire 250k, they’d ruin someone over less he made a good decision

2

u/Ren_Hoek Sep 18 '22

You don't have to legally notify the party. You are also not entitled to the money. The only reason he notified Google is that he wanted to maintain a good relationship with them or wanting to just do the right thing.

Legally, if he waited a couple of years, depending on state, he could have kept the money outright.

1

u/LordVic Sep 18 '22

whether he had to give it back??

Not a lawyer: Have worked in banking systems and technology for 10+ years and have had a stint as payroll administrator for a large recruitment/placement agency in Canada.

100% has to give it back. There's no statute of limitations. Money transferred into someones account in error is absolutely 100% not the property of the account holder. This goes for any accidental transfers such as error in payroll, wrong amount in tax refunds, or bank errors.

Once discovered, it is up to the individual to attempt to return it and continue to do so. If demanded it be returned, they must immediately do so.

The only time I have ever seen someone get to keep an "error" was after the financial institution excplicity wrote them stating it and was notorized by legal. While having to sign affidavits confirming that what they claimed was correct.

1

u/Clevererer Sep 18 '22

Money transferred into someones account in error is absolutely 100% not the property of the account holder. This goes for any accidental transfers such as error in payroll, wrong amount in tax refunds, or bank errors.

So if I accidentally transfer money to the wrong account, I can get it back?

1

u/LordVic Sep 18 '22

So if I accidentally transfer money to the wrong account, I can get it back?

Legally the bank is under no obligation to do so.

I know there are some institutions around here (mine for example) that will refund if they believe fraud is involved. But for accident? No, you would be shit out of luck.

0

u/Clevererer Sep 18 '22

Whenever the victim of the erroneous transfer is an individual, they're shit out of luck.

Whenever the victim of an erroneous transfer is a corporation, the law is there to back them up.

It's "Heads I win. Tails you lose." So all of this....

100% has to give it back. There's no statute of limitations. Money transferred into someones account in error is absolutely 100% not the property of the account holder. This goes for any accidental transfers such as error in payroll, wrong amount in tax refunds, or bank errors.

Once discovered, it is up to the individual to attempt to return it and continue to do so. If demanded it be returned, they must immediately do so.

... is utter bullshit. You've been brainwashed, my friend.

1

u/LordVic Sep 18 '22

Whenever the victim of the erroneous transfer is an individual, they're shit out of luck.

Whenever the victim of an erroneous transfer is a corporation, the law is there to back them up.

I"m not "brainwashed". what you've said here is the truth.

when it comes to banking, it is massively regulated, and most of the laws are not on our individuals sides.

you can want to find conspiracies or what not, or argue whether the regulations and enforcement are good or bad. I'm not here to have that conversation.

But simple fact, in most of the regulated, western banking world. The system is 100% "rigged" against the individual. There's nothing I asaid in that post that wasn't fact.

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1

u/aaaaaaaarrrrrgh Sep 19 '22

The recipient has an obligation to return it to you, but actually making him do it is another story.

1

u/that_guy_iain Sep 18 '22

Depends on the country. Most countries the banks generally won’t be able to force stuff through. However, legally the money stuff belongs to you because the other person has no legal claim to it.

In my case the other person tried to keep it until I demand their contact details to sue. At which point they returned it because the law says they needed to give it back and paying for lawyers and court fees was obviously not worth it.

1

u/santaclaritaman Sep 18 '22

Just um Google it

1

u/Goalie3533 Sep 18 '22

A few years back, I had to sit on a grand jury for 16 weeks. We would just hear a briefing of the charges, usually delivered by the arresting officer and lawyer & decide whether there was enough evidence to send the case to a court trial.

We had a few cases come across of this exact thing. Deposit mistakes do happen, by both corporations and banks & in both of the cases we heard, the recipients of the mistake took the money and ran with it. Both parties were arrested and both cases were sent to trial.

I dont know the outcome of either case but long story short, if you're ever on the receiving end of a deposit error, DONT SPEND IT! They will come looking for it.

1

u/robi4567 Sep 19 '22

They have to give it back. I guess if google discovered it 7 years later then they could keep it.

1

u/aaaaaaaarrrrrgh Sep 19 '22

Yes, if asked.

Same with the Venmo recipient. Venmo just won't help you reverse the transaction, and if the person refuses to give it back, making them return it is likely more expensive than the usual Venmo transaction. Needless to say, with 250k it's probably worth the effort...

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2

u/rekabis Sep 18 '22

I’m sorry, but I would give a company like Google three opportunities to take it back. After that, I’m stashing it in an ETF-based index fund for a year of two (just to be safe, in case they have a delayed reaction) before I would start using it myself. A quarter million doesn’t even rate as a rounding error in their financials. Compared to an average American, it’s like losing 2-5¢. They can stand to lose 5¢ if they can’t even be arsed to take it back when I come with it in hand, ready to give back.

-1

u/Backdoorschoolbus Sep 18 '22

What a fckn moron.

35

u/YEETMANdaMAN Sep 18 '22

Another commenter said google makes 200,000 every 30 seconds. So this would be like the average person misplacing $0.20

14

u/rekabis Sep 18 '22

The median American (median = middle, so this is not badly skewed upward by the hyper-wealthy) earns $32,000/yr.

For about 2,000 working hours a year, this ends up being $16/hr.

For 30 seconds of work, this would be 13¢.

So, close. Pretty close.

8

u/Steinrikur Sep 18 '22

yeah, but Google makes that 24/7, so it's actually closer to 3¢ for someone making 32K/year.

2

u/Brassboar Sep 18 '22

This is a wierd measurement but in 2021 it was closer to $264K every 30 seconds.

3

u/Zealousideal_Ice_369 Sep 18 '22

Probably was only noticed during an internal audit

30

u/GeekFurious Sep 18 '22

When something like this happens, you need to contact your bank & their bank so that they can correct the issue without it affecting you, otherwise, you could get a bill at the end of the year from the IRS.

2

u/BCProgramming Sep 19 '22

you could get a bill at the end of the year from the IRS.

I have ways of avoiding ever dealing with the IRS

2

u/DurinsBane1 Sep 19 '22

Teach me your ways

2

u/aaaaaaaarrrrrgh Sep 19 '22

Step 1: Don't be a US citizen.

Step 2: Stay far away from the US.

128

u/StandardFig1688 Sep 18 '22

How do you accidentally misplace $249,000 and not worry about it for a month? Reminds me of a friend that did IT work for a hospital. They accidentally paid an invoice that was close to $100,000 twice. He called and told them they already paid that invoice. The hospitals response? "Don't worry about it. Just credit our account. I'm sure we'll spend that much with you eventually."

130

u/beef-o-lipso Sep 18 '22

It's a lot of money to you and I, but Google makes about $206,000 in 30 seconds. IOW, to them its chump change.

15

u/stumblios Sep 18 '22

Not that it matters for your point, but was that math done with profit or revenue?

30

u/beef-o-lipso Sep 18 '22

Total Q2 revenue of ~$69bn. Calc number of minutes on a 90 period. Divide revenue by minutes then by 2 to get 30 seconds.

I didn't find out the revenue for the Blogger BU. It's far less than total, of course.

6

u/whand4 Sep 18 '22

-4

u/NikkoE82 Sep 18 '22

Did they? I mean, it seems probable, but you need a second independent person to do the math to verify.

29

u/nRust Sep 18 '22

Google purchased some product from a company I worked with a bit ago and made a similar error; $2,400 in products and they sent an order instead totaling $240,000. Nobody even called.

2

u/tom_fuckin_bombadil Sep 18 '22

I have a condition where I need to use medical sensors that need to be replaced every 2 weeks and cost around $80 per sensor. Sometimes these sensors malfunction or don't work for the full 2 weeks but you're able to call up the manufacturer's customer service and get a free replacement if that happens.

I had 3 sensors die on me in a short span of time and called customer service for replacements. A week later, I receive 3 huge boxes....turns out the company had sent me 300 sensors (that's $24,000 in value) instead of 3 sensors.

Called them up explaining that some had done fucked up on their end. They had no idea and it took the manager I spoke with like 20 minutes to understand what I meant when I said I received 3 cases. They sent someone to pick up the boxes and that was that.

Was kinda disappointed they didnt even send a thank you email or some sort of reward/complimentary product for saving them $24k...but whatever

1

u/[deleted] Sep 18 '22

Sort of reminds me of that dude that posted on reddit when he mistakenly recieved a parts kid for a literal predator drone in the mail

1

u/nRust Sep 19 '22

If you don’t mind me asking, who makes the sensors? You should’ve kept them!

2

u/JetAmoeba Sep 18 '22

Almost guarantee that was from a confusion of a money amount being stored in cents vs dollars

17

u/Loki-Don Sep 18 '22

Google makes about $700 million per day. Based on their quarterly reports they “spend” about 500 million a day. Salaries, contracts vendors, expenses etc.

So while it seems crazy that someone wouldn’t notice a $250K mistake, it’s kinda a rounding error in the amount that goes out the door for them every day.

18

u/RverfulltimeOne Sep 18 '22 edited Sep 18 '22

Once in a blue moon you hear of someone who the US Government accidentally forwards money to. The last one I read it was like 30 million for some UN payment of some sort. There is a law on the books that after 90 or 120 days if the amount is not collected you get to keep it. They took her to court but she got to keep it.

I keep hoping for this outcome come Tax time. My ass buys a golden visa to Cyprus the instant it hits all transferred to a Bank there. Ever read up on that place its filled with all the politicans that have escaped justice and lots of mobsters. Be awesome!

2

u/reddditttt12345678 Sep 18 '22

Cyprus recently stopped their investor visa program.

1

u/bobartig Sep 18 '22

I like that you have this all planned out. For me, I'm not sure I could hang with a bunch of gangsters who were willing to crime it up to get their wealth and stash it in Cyprus, and me being a normal schmuck who just lucked into it.

1

u/RverfulltimeOne Sep 19 '22

LOL I watched a movie called "Backstabbing for Beginners" about the UN scandal Food for Oil with Iraq. Anyhow one of the main UN Undersecretaries was 100% likely to go to jail. Hes to this day in Cyprus. Looked up Cyprus and one of the hand-full of nations that you can buy "Golden Visas" and its a non extradition country. Russian Mob, minor dictators, you name it live on that island.

1

u/rekabis Sep 18 '22

It’s like your typical American wage slave misplacing 5-15¢. Really, a quarter million is such a tiny amount to Google that it doesn’t even factor as a rounding error on their financials. It really is that insignificant an amount.

1

u/Atilim87 Sep 18 '22

Couple of people sleeping.

Somebody from AP (a person or a software system) post the invoice and ever approved afterwards doesn’t check if the amount is correct or maybe the invoice is assigned to the wrong company.

And when it’s time to do the payments you aren’t going to check every invoice you are going to pay (could be thousands of line )

1

u/Ratnix Sep 18 '22

That's likely how long it took to make it to someone's desk and for them do find out the accounts they are responsible for aren't balancing.

I work for a very small company and we have like half a dozen accounts. I can't even imagine the number of accountants that someone like Google actually has and how long it takes that kind of stuff to make it through their systems.

And like others have said, that amount of money to Google is pretty much just pocket change to most people. It's simply not going to be noticed until some accountant runs across it, and that simply takes time.

1

u/OkTarget8047 Sep 18 '22

when u work with a large sums you will see. 240k to google is not even a rounding error

42

u/SterlingVapor Sep 18 '22

Here's what you do - imply that this was a bribe not to run a story, so when Google comes around looking for it each individual employee is scared to do anything about it, including talking to legal

Make it very clear you're willing to give the money back, but that once a story hits the publish queue there's nothing that can be done

When they ask what the story is or who promised the money, say you can't leave a paper trail and start sending them the address of closed down factories several hours away for them as "a safe place to talk". Make sure they'd only arrive on time if they left that very moment and didn't stop for gas

Continue to confuse and frighten them until they cover for the payments in their billing departments to avoid dealing with you any further

15

u/Anagatam Sep 18 '22

Good luck with that. For real. Good luck!

32

u/memento_mori_1220 Sep 18 '22

My uncle is a multimillionaire are he got scammed 300000$ and didn’t notice for months.. his account found out lol someone was writing fake checks and just kept doing it for months

7

u/thekarmabum Sep 18 '22

That's clearly theft and not a "clerical error" though.

3

u/memento_mori_1220 Sep 18 '22

100% I’m just saying he didn’t notice it gone he was building a huge house at the time and had no idea the money was stolen

2

u/thekarmabum Sep 18 '22

I could see that, if you're already paying for a big project it would be easy for an unscrupulous contractor to nickel a dime some extras during the completion and get away with it being unnoticed for a while. Then by the end of it, it really adds up to a lot more.

2

u/memento_mori_1220 Sep 18 '22

It was a custom 9500sqfoot mansion on a lake lol it’s insane tbh his wife was head of the security and exchange commission for 5south east states and he owned a huge printing company in NYC that specializes in legal documents

10

u/rooy_02 Sep 18 '22

Did he find out who it was eventually?

8

u/memento_mori_1220 Sep 18 '22

He think it was a contractor I’m not entirely sure if the caught him or not he got them money back tho

3

u/Dusty170 Sep 18 '22

Hey I'm your long lost brother and Its my birthday today, fancy letting our uncle know?

cough

3

u/strangething95 Sep 18 '22

Can I talk to uncle too ?

1

u/memento_mori_1220 Sep 18 '22

My uncle is so cheap he bought me a salt and pepper shaker for my birthday

2

u/memento_mori_1220 Sep 18 '22

My uncle is so cheap he bought me a salt and pepper shaker for my birthday

3

u/Dusty170 Sep 18 '22

Not even gold inlaid? Or diamond encrusted? I can see why he's a millionaire now being frugal like that.

2

u/memento_mori_1220 Sep 18 '22

Super frugal lol it was a baseball kit and glove salt and pepper shaker : /

44

u/Nimmy_the_Jim Sep 18 '22

"a quarter of a million dollars"

such a long winded and dramatic way of saying

"$250k"

19

u/Macemore Sep 18 '22

Yeah but you get to throw million in there and that makes it sound way bigger, not that it's an insignificant sum.

-9

u/mbolgiano Sep 18 '22

Where the f****** to the lemonade man and he said Tuesday and run in the man wide awhile to the very next day by the bottom

4

u/Macemore Sep 18 '22

You okay buddy?

1

u/mangzane Sep 18 '22

Long winded? Lmfao.

It’s like 2 syllables longer, maybe even the same depending on how you say “250K”.

3

u/ReplacementLevel4369 Sep 18 '22

And what? What's the story?

Slow news day, huh.

6

u/guspaz Sep 18 '22

I'd stick it in a high-interest account to sit and make a good-faith effort to contact them. I mean, not too hard of an effort, but at least enough of an effort that I'm not going to feel like I did something wrong. However long they take to arrange the return of the money, the interest earned would be mine to keep.

It's not like there'd be much interest, but it's not my money in the first place, and if I get $200 in interest for storing their quarter million dollars for a month before they arrange its return, that's $200 more than I had before.

→ More replies

2

u/kintimTAB Sep 18 '22

Damn… can’t they do this again, but this time it’s my account and not ask for it back?

2

u/sonickid101 Sep 18 '22

Could you just keep the money in an interest-bearing escrow account and forward the interest to yourself and not say anything after the initial message? If they come asking for it you have it all in an escrow account. Would you be legally able to keep any interest earned on that money, If they eventually came asking for it? Also how long could you keep it in escrow before it eventually just becomes yours?

1

u/aaaaaaaarrrrrgh Sep 19 '22

In theory, they might be able to ask for the interest.

In practice, they won't.

In practice, the much bigger problem will be that most "interest bearing accounts" now charge you for keeping money there, so making sure you don't get screwed over on this will be surprisingly hard.

9

u/jaceapoc Sep 18 '22

Just say $250,000… ffs

2

u/dontyousquidward Sep 18 '22

let's count syllables:

two hun dred fif ty thou sand

quar ter of a mill i on

oh would you look at that, they're the fucking same

2

u/Killface17 Sep 18 '22

I say mill ion like mill yun

7

u/_DeanRiding Sep 18 '22

A quarter of a million dollars takes a lot longer to read than $250k though doesn't it?

11

u/dontyousquidward Sep 18 '22

my precious nanoseconds

-5

u/Money_hunger Sep 18 '22

who even reads it as "two hundred fifty thousand" instead of "two fifty k" or "two fifty thousand"

3

u/Paulo27 Sep 18 '22

Why are you reading numbers lmao. Your brain doesn't instantly recognize the amount without spelling it?

-5

u/jaceapoc Sep 18 '22

Tell me you’re from New York without telling me you’re from New York

-1

u/Money_hunger Sep 18 '22

jokes on u, im at the complete opposite point from NY

1

u/jaceapoc Sep 18 '22

Spain? Damn ok I’m way off

1

u/Money_hunger Sep 19 '22

still way off 🤣

1

u/Denninja Sep 18 '22

It's called clickbaiting, they prefer the line with the word "million" in it.

2

u/Shamwowz21 Sep 18 '22

If it takes you a month to ask for something back, you didn’t give two turds for it to begin with. 10 second rule but a month makes it their property.

3

u/Agreeable-Meat1 Sep 18 '22

If I accidentally give somebody a bigger bill than I meant to, I don't get to go to law enforcement to have them take my money back under threat of violence and imprisonment. Why does Google?

2

u/mistervanilla Sep 18 '22

It doesn't say in the article that Google went to the police?

2

u/bkornblith Sep 18 '22

Something to reflect on when we think about how large fines need to be on technology companies to actually impact them in any way.

1

u/BeerNirvana Sep 18 '22

I would have bought Google stock with it. If it goes up, sell it and give them back the money. If it goes down give them the "250k" of their own stock.

1

u/justxjose12 Sep 18 '22

That’s so appropriate.. not necessarily google stock, regarding the trade options we have right now! Oooh! How I wish it was my account but I guess I’ll have to be a blogger first 😅

1

u/DaVinciJest Sep 18 '22

Chump change for google

1

u/lohvei0r Sep 18 '22

What’s the tax implications for the recipient?

1

u/Wonderful_Event_6733 Sep 18 '22

$250k is hard to notice missing when you’re Google.

1

u/justxjose12 Sep 18 '22

Still a lot of money yunno!

1

u/Mrrilz20 Sep 18 '22

They would never find me. "E" mistake.

1

u/DJDark11 Sep 18 '22

Just keep the money as a bounty for finding the ”human” bug of guy at google randomly sending people money?!

1

u/Alan_Smithee_ Sep 18 '22

Would you be in any additional trouble if you put it into an indexed fund, provided you paid it back?

1

u/unkownsourcecode Sep 19 '22

My gf used my card for coffee. Took me a month to figure that shit out

1

u/dwdrummond Sep 19 '22

At least he collected a little interest

1

u/AnaisNinjaTX Sep 19 '22

I accidentally transferred money into someone else’s savings account because I transposed a couple numbers when typing them into the phone, and when I called the bank about it they told me they’d have to contact the owner of the other account and see if they were willing to give the money back and if they wanted to keep it I was SOL. I was like EXCUSE ME WHAT THE FUCK?!?! Luckily the other person gave permission to the bank to transfer it back.

1

u/Professional_Tree500 Sep 22 '22

So years ago Merrill Lynch added someone else’s money into my account. I hadn’t checked my account & evidently the other person didn’t either. I just waited to see what would happen since I wasn’t spending it. When nothing happened I called them. The numbers had gotten mixed up (?) and Merrill Lynch didn’t know whose it was..or something like that, been years ago. I had to convince them it wasn’t mine & said you’d think the person would miss it. Get this; ML person said you’d be surprised how often people forget about an account, they may never have noticed. Still I’d have been worried every day about getting caught.