Three men charged over alleged SMS phishing scam responsible for sending over 80 million fraudulent texts

Cybercrime Squad detectives have charged three men following an investigation into an SMS phishing scam, allegedly responsible for sending over 80 million fraudulent text messages.

Strike Force Kanbi was established by State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad to investigate the use of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) boxes, which are an electronic device used to send bulk text messages across the Australian telecommunications network containing fraudulent links.

The text messages typically pertain to be a legitimate institution containing a fraudulent link, directing the victim to an illegitimate website for the purpose of financial gain.

Through assistance from telecommunications network, strike force detectives were able to identify the location of NSW’s most prolific SIM boxes, who police will allege was responsible for sending over 80 million messages in five months.

Following inquiries, about 6am on Thursday 15 February 2024, strike force detectives – with assistance from the Public Order & Riot Squad – executed two search warrants at a unit in Burwood.

In one unit, police arrested two men – aged 37 and 43 – and located three large SIM boxes and a number of SIM cards.

In the second unit, police arrested a 35-year-old man and located a large amount of identity information, SIM cards, cannabis, and eight mobile phones.

The men were taken to Burwood Police Station where the older men were both charged with use equipment connected to network to commit serious offence and deal with identity info to commit etc indictable.

The 35-year-old man was charged with Use equipment connected to network to commit serious offence, deal with identity info to commit etc indictable offence and possess prohibited drug.

All three men were refused bail and appeared in Burwood Local Court on Friday 16 February 2024 where they were formally refused bail to re-appear in the same court on Friday 1 March 2024.

Police will allege in court the men were using the SIM boxes to send over 80 million scam messages pertaining to be from legitimate and major Australian organisations.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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