Suspect Arrested In $170,000 CU Skimming In Hawaii
HONOLULU – One of the three men accused of stealing credit card information from gas stations and using it to siphon more than $170,000 from members of two Oahu credit unions and four banks was arrested Friday.
Akop Changryan, a 27-year-old California resident, was charged with three counts of I.D. theft.
Prosecutors say Changryan and two other men, Ariak Davtyan and Karapet Kalantryan, traveled from California to Hawaii and rented a van to carry out their skimming scheme. There were 194 victims at Hawaii State FCU, Hawaiian Tel FCU and four banks.
The suspects parked the van in strategic locations so employees at Aloha Island Mart gas stations could not see one of the suspects attach skimming devices to the internal hardware components of the gas pumps, according to court records.
During the next 15 days the skimming devices captured all of the data contained on the magnetic strip of credit and debit cards being used by customers to pay for gas, including PINs.
Once the suspects were satisfied enough information had been gathered, they allegedly used the same blocking technique with the rented van to retrieve the skimming devices at each of the four gas stations they targeted.
The three men returned to California in late September and began making counterfeit credit and debit cards from the information captured by the electronic skimmers.