A woman faces charges of identity theft after police found her using a device to steal debit card information at Chase Bank in north Lynnwood.
Officers went to the bank at 176th and Highway 99 on Saturday after someone reported seeing her install the “skimming” device on the ATM. It’s a magnetic card reader that captures a customer’s debit card number. A small camera records the PIN.
A bank security official recognized the suspect, 42-year-old Ana Crisan, as someone he had been looking for. She was seen on surveillance cameras placing skimmers on ATMs from California to Mt. Vernon. A federal task force was also investigating her and the Secret Service says she likely has ties to Romanian organized crime.
Approximately 20 accounts had been compromised. Bank officials had been investigating Crisan since February, when she is suspected of attaching a skimming device to an ATM in San Francisco. Chase estimates they’ve lost about $34,000 to Crisan.
Officials say thieves usually install and remove the skimming devices on weekends.
What to look for
Here are some tips from the FBI to avoid becoming a victim of skimmers:
Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it…be suspicious if you see anything loose, crooked, or damaged, or if you notice scratches or adhesive/tape residue.
When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
If possible, use an ATM at an inside location (less access for criminals to install skimmers).
Be careful of ATMs in tourist areas…they are a popular target of skimmers.
If your card isn’t returned after the transaction or after hitting “cancel,” immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.