BOISE, Idaho — Two men were sentenced to prison Friday for aggravated identity theft.
According to court records, David Babos, 37, and Hakim Slafti Hannaoui, 33, were sentenced Friday to 24 months in federal prison for aggravated identity theft after admitting they conspired to commit access device fraud.
Authorities said the scheme involved the defendants attaching electronic devices known as “skimmers” to ATMs. With these devices, the defendants were able to retrieve information and used equipment to encode the fraudulently obtained payment card information onto the magnetic strips of physical cards. The re-encoded cards were then used to unlawfully acquire money and other goods said officials.
According to the United States Crime Museum, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States today. The Federal Trade Commission estimated that as many as 9 million Americans have had their identities stolen each year.
The United States government says that if you receive items such as bills for items you didn’t buy, debt collection calls for accounts you didn’t open, or denials for loan applications, this could be a sign that you are a victim of identity theft and should notify the authorities immediately. Anyone can be a victim of identity theft from children to seniors.
After sentencing Babos and Hannaoui, acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., of the District of Idaho made the announcement and commended the cooperative efforts of the U.S. Secret Service, Idaho State Police and other county police officers as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.