Renton woman gets four years in prison for ATM card skimming

A 43-year-old Renton woman who used “skimming” devices and pin hole cameras installed on ATM machines to steal from 237 bank accounts has been sentenced to four years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Ana M. Crisan also was ordered to pay $125,241 in restitution, announced  U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby of the Eastern District of Washington.

Crisan was arrested in April 2012, following a year when she skimmed ATM card information, and stole money from customer accounts at banks throughout the West, according to the federal press release.

U.S. District Judge Lonny Suko imposed the sentence noting that identity theft can remain traumatic for victims into the future.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington prosecuted the case because U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan was a victim of the Crisan skimming activity.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Secret Service have some tips for consumers to try to avoid being victimized by skimmers:

• If the access door to a lobby ATM is broken, don’t use the ATM, go somewhere else.

• If there is more than one ATM, and a sign has been placed on one of the units saying it is out of service, go somewhere else – the sign could be an attempt to direct traffic to the machine where skimming equipment is installed.

• Check the machine before putting your card in – is the card slot securely in the machine? Has anything been installed around the edges of the machine that could conceal a camera? Is any glue or sticky substance around the key pad or card slot?

• Always attempt to cover your hand when you enter your PIN so that if there is a camera, the numbers cannot be captured.

• Watch your account activity and report any unauthorized credit or debit charges immediately.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington.

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