ASIC and AFP dismantle online fraud syndicate that laundered millions of dollars

  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has arrested a suspect in a fraud and identity theft operation.
  • This operation involved creating fake identities and stealing money from superannuation and share trading accounts.

What happened?

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) were working together on this cybercrime busting operation for more than a year.

  • Stolen identity information, single-use SIM cards, and fake email addresses were used to open accounts at various Australian banks. This data belonged to real individuals who were unaware of this identity compromise.
  • The scammers then stole money from the victims’ superannuation and share trading accounts.
  • The stolen funds were laundered to purchase assets that are not easily traceable.
  • The money was then transferred back to Australia in the form of cryptocurrencies.
  • This operation is believed to have laundered millions of dollars.

Investigation outcome

This investigation brought to light at least 70 bank accounts that were created with fraudulent information.

  • A 21-year old woman from Melbourne was arrested on alleged charges of being a part of the fraud syndicate.
  • If found guilty, the suspect is to be charged with a wide range of offenses.
  • Officials are still continuing with their investigation and have not ruled out the possibility of further arrests.

What they’re saying

ASIC Deputy Chair Daniel Crennan says, “Cybersecurity threats such as data breaches and financial system attacks are a major concern for ASIC and we will continue to pursue not only cyber-related market and superannuation offending but also the need for institutions to maintain their obligations to ensure they have adequate cyber resilience.”

AFP Manager Cyber Crime Operations, acting Commander Chris Goldsmid says, “The consequences of the breaches we have discovered are far-reaching, and can be traced back to cybercrime offenses that impact everyday Australians.”

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