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Renton Woman Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For "Skimming" Bank Accounts

Hundreds of bank accounts were affected, including the account of U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

Crime doesn’t pay.

Ana M. Crisan, a 43-year-old Renton woman, was sentenced Friday to four years in prison, five years of supervised release and $125,241 in restitution for stealing from hundreds of bank accounts.

She secretly installed a pinhole camera and “skimming” devices on ATM Machines to carry out the thefts from 237 bank accounts, according to charging documents.

Following an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, Crisan was arrested in April 2012. During her year-long crime spree, Crisan “skimmed ATM card information, and stole money from customer accounts at banks throughout the West,” according to a statement from the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. District Judge Lonny Suko noted that identity theft can “remain traumatic for victims into the future,” during Crisan’s sentencing.

Under normal circumstances, U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan handles these cases; however, Durkan was a victim of Crisan’s ATM “skimming” scheme. Instead, Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Harrington of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington prosecuted the case.

Avoid being the victim of “skimmers” by following these tips from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Secret Service:

  • 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.

 

ErinA October 20, 2012 at 01:03 AM
I was a victim of this type of theft this spring and my bank is in Fairwood--wonder if I was hit by this woman? Hmm. Fortunately, Chase investigated and they stopped the charge eventually, that nearly cleaned out our checking account. What a hassle it was though. Thank goodness for online banking, as I saw the unfamiliar charge to Jet Blue for tickets to NYC within a day of the charge and went to the bank and reported the theft right away. I have never flown Jet Blue, have not been to NYC in over 20 years either. ;)
Sandra Meyer October 20, 2012 at 03:48 PM
When will people who got scammed be notified? If she only took a little out of most accounts, it may not be obvious to account holders.

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