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Sydney man arrested over massive SMS phishing operation

The alleged perpetrator was responsible for sending more than 17 million texts from a high-tech SIM farm.

user icon David Hollingworth
Mon, 18 Dec 2023
Sydney man arrested over massive SMS phishing operation
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The NSW Cybercrime Squad has arrested a man in connection to a scam text operation that sent millions of SMSes pretending to be from brands such as Australia Post and Linkt.

The 39-year-old Sydney man was arrested in a house in Moorebank following investigations into the use of SIM boxes by the Cybercrime Squad’s Strike Force Kanbi. Police found two SIM boxes currently in use, SIM cards, and “electronics consistent with running a fraudulent text message scam” during their search of the property.

The hardware has been seized for forensic examination, and the alleged perpetrator was charged at Liverpool Police Station with the use of equipment connected to a network to commit a serious offence.

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The man will appear in Liverpool Local Court on 17 January 2024, where police will allege he was responsible for sending more than 17 million scam texts.

Detective Acting Superintendent Jason Smith, Commander of the Cybercrime Squad, said in a statement that Christmas is a prime time for scammers.

“As we enter the final lead-up to Christmas, a lot of people will be expecting online deliveries, but under no circumstances should you ever click on a link you receive in an SMS message or email,” Detective Acting Superintendent Smith said.

“Legitimate businesses will never call or SMS customers seeking confidential information. Always be suspicious when you receive such requests.

“Scammers will often pretend to be from a reputable company or financial institution, so even if it’s a company you regularly deal with, the safer option is to independently log into that company’s website to check your account,” Detective Acting Superintendent Smith said.

“SMS phishing is one of the most common tactics deployed by scammers to obtain banking and other personal information from a victim, and SIM boxes can hold over 250 active SIM cards and will typically send out up to 150,000 messages per day containing phishing lures to various scams.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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