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Three Chinese immigrants allegedly sent 80 million scam texts from two Sydney apartments

Chinese immigrants phishing text message scam

Three Chinese nationals have been charged over a massive alleged SMS phishing scam that barraged Australians with 80 million fraudulent text messages.

The men aged 35, 37 and 43, were arrested by riot squad police in two apartments in two high-rise blocks in Burwood, in Sydney’s inner west, earlier this month.

Police allegedly seized three large SIM boxes, SIM cards, identity information, cannabis, and eight mobile phones, which were allegedly used to send bulk text messages containing links to scam websites.

“This has been a meticulously planned operation… it’s seen as a major breakthrough in a cybercrime investigation into a massive SMS phishing scam,” Detective Superintendent Matt Craft, who runs the Cybercrime Squad told A Current Affair, who were tipped off about the investigation.

The alleged scam texts appeared to have been sent by MyGov, Toll, Australia Post, and the Commonwealth Bank, and were composed on a computer before being sent in bulk from the SIM boxes, which operate around the clock sending dozens of texts per second.

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

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

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

They face up to 10 years behind bars if convicted.

Australians lost an estimated $23 million to SMS scams in 2023.

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