A 40-year-old Sydney man will spend the next two years behind bars for stealing over $100,000 with an SMS phishing scam.
The man created fake web sites that looked like the pages for CommBank, NAB, and Telstra.
He then sent text messages with links to the dodgy sites and gained credentials which he used to create new accounts, and access existing accounts, of more than 450 victims.
“We encourage Australians to protect themselves against phishing scams by carefully reviewing emails or SMS messages before clicking on any links,” Australian Federal Police (AFP) spokesperson Commander Chris Goldsmid said in a statement.
“Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a phishing scam, or who sees suspicious banking transactions should contact their bank and also report the matter via Report Cyber.”
The man was found guilty of two NSW fraud offences and two Commonwealth hacking crimes.
He was sentenced to 35 months in jail, commencing with his arrest in late 2021.
The AFP claims it stopped another 16,000 Australians from losing their hard-earned money by working with the banks and Telstra to identify and protect people who may have clicked the links and entered their details into the fake websites.
Australians continue to lose serious amounts of money to scammers with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s annual Targeting Scams report revealing more than $2 billion coughed up in 2021 – more than double the 2020 figure.
SMS messages are one of the most popular delivery methods of scams.
Last Friday, Victorian police arrested and charged a 21-year-old man who was allegedly operating the infamous ‘Hi Mum’ text message scam.
The scam involves pretending to be a child who has lost or broken their phone and are contacting the victim on a borrowed phone or new number.
Once they’ve made contact, the scammer asks for money to pay for a new phone or to help pay bills.
Police allege the man bought goods using stolen documents and obtained “a substantial amount of money” through the scam.