A 21-year-old Melbourne woman is due to appear before court today following investigations into a major fraud and identity theft syndicate which allegedly saw millions of dollars stolen from people’s superannuation and share trading accounts.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the AFP allege the syndicate used stolen identity information purchased from dark net marketplaces, together with single-use telephone SIM cards and fake email accounts, to mimic real individuals and open bank accounts.
Once those false accounts were established, the syndicate allegedly committed cybercrime offences to illegally steal millions from the superannuation and share-trading accounts of the victims.
The stolen funds were then allegedly laundered through an overseas contact to purchase untraceable assets.
“The consequences of the breaches we have discovered are far-reaching, and can be traced back to cybercrime offences that impact everyday Australians,” AFP acting commander Chris Goldsmid said.
“From identity theft, where innocent victims have their personal details stolen and sold online in dark net marketplaces, to hacking and phishing – this investigation has illustrated the devastating impacts that compromise of your identity can have.”
What can I do about it?
ASIC’s MoneySmart site advises that you should never give your personal details to people you don’t know, and always check your bank and superannuation statements for any unusual transactions.
You should also be wary when installing applications onto your phone as they may send you apps designed to download malicious software and steal your bank account details.
If you think you’ve been a victim of cybercrime, you can report it to the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s ‘Report Cyber’ portal.
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