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SMS phishing fraudsters charged

Australian Federal Police
Date published
September 2020

Relevant impacts: Financial impact, Human impact and Industry impact.

Two men have been arrested for their involvement in an SMS phishing scheme working to steal identity and money from thousands of Australians.

The men allegedly used a type of cybercrime known as 'smishing' where SIM boxes are used to send text messages claiming to be from banks and telecommunications companies to mislead victims into providing personal or financial account information.

SIM boxes can use multiple SIM cards to send bulk text messages to tens of thousands of recipients in one go. It is alleged that the SIM boxes, which were controlled by the 2 men, were used to send more than 10,000 smishing messages over a 2-week period. As a result of these alleged attacks, 45 customers from a single bank were impacted and in one instance over $30,000 was allegedly stolen from a single customer.

The men have been charged with a number of offences including dealing in identification using a carriage service and using a telecommunications network with an intention to commit a serious offence.

Related countermeasures

Collaborate with strategic partners such as other government entities, committees, working groups and taskforces. This allows you to share capability, information and intelligence and to prevent and disrupt fraud.

Coordinate disruption activities across multiple programs or entities to strengthen processes and identify serious and organised criminals targeting multiple programs.

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