Most people often throw away the receipt after withdrawing cash from an ATM. John de Lisle is one fellow who values ATM printouts — not because he got millions printed on his bank statement — but because he earns a four-digit annual income from his hobby printing fake bank receipts.
It all began in 2004 when he saw a thermal ATM receipt printer on eBay for sale. “Interfacing it with my PC would make an interesting electronic project … it would be fun to see what people would want to print on a receipt,’ he says.
Initially he got requests from people who apparently wanted to use the invoice for insurance fraud, so he placed safeguards by using fake bank names, fraudulent numbers, and false terminal numbers.
The safeguards are sufficient for experts to detect the receipts are not genuine. But it appears real enough for practical jokers to pull a stunt on friends, relatives, and even new acquaintances they want to impress.
His clients — mostly males between the ages 20 to 40 — agree that it often works. After dropping hints of extra wealth, thanks to $250,000 ATM receipts, they often get dates or nocturnal conquests from women who are attracted to someone apparently filthy rich.
Witty John obviously has fun recounting amusing accounts of his clients. But a unique business like his also requires serious analytical and IT skills. “Many small businesses fail because draining, repetitive work increases to the point the owner gets buried and gives up,” he explains. He advises business owners to eliminate mundane repetitive tasks by automating processes. He also uses carefully picked key words so his Web site is well positioned in search engines.
He cautions clients not financially well positioned in real life from ordering high amounts since it may give them away or compel the curious to ask for more tangible evidence. A $90 million receipt he can easily produce, but BMWs, Beverly Hills villas, or Lear jets are simply beyond the capability of his thermal printer.