Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

We have warned you before about skimming scams, and how hard it is to detect the small bits of plastic on ATMs. Anyone can fall victim and not realize it until after the thieves have racked up large purchases using the stolen card information. This is includes our state’s top law enforcer, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan. She told KING 5 that:

her bank account was robbed in August after thieves stole her debit card information.

“When it happens to you…you really feel victimized and you think, ‘Boy, I wish I’d been smarter that time,'” she said.

ATM “skimmers” are sophisticated enough that they can even trick someone like Durkan, the chair of the Justice Department’s Cybercrime Subcommittee.

But not all the recent news about skimming scams is bad news. The Tri-City Herald reported that:

A judge set bail Tuesday at $150,000 for an Issaquah man accused of attaching a card-skimming device to a Pasco bank's ATM, and said he wouldn't go lower because of the number of affected citizens.

And, earlier this summer, a scammer was sentenced to federal prison for victimizing at least 100 people. According to The Seattle Times:

a 37-year-old Renton man has been sentenced to five years in prison for stealing nearly a quarter of a million dollars by skimming ATMs.



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