A 43-year-old woman has been sentenced to four years in prison and five years of supervised release after being found guilty of skimming the bank accounts of 237 unsuspecting individuals. She will also have to pay $125,241 (97,000 EUR) in restitution.
According to the Eastern District of Washington Attorney’s Office, Ana Crisan cloned payment cards with the help of ATM skimming devices and cameras that were cleverly set up to record victims while they entered their PINs.
Authorities believe that the woman fraudulently accessed bank accounts for an entire year before being arrested in April 2012. Interestingly, one of the thief’s victims was U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan.
In order to avoid falling victims to such schemes, cardholders are advised to refrain from using ATMs that look suspicious. For instance, if the access door to a lobby ATM is broken, it may mean that the machine has been tampered with.
If there’s more than one ATM and one of them bears an “out of service” sign it might be a sign that the crooks are trying to redirect victims to the device they rigged.
Finally, when entering PINs, users must cover the keypad to make sure that if there are any hidden cameras, they can’t record the valuable information.