Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Credit Card Fraud exposed.

Detectives from the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad and officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have arrested a man wanted in relation to nearly 100 fraud-related offences.

Last year, detectives from the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad formed Strike Force Kaye to investigate fraud offences after numerous electronic devices were found during a search warrant at a property in The Rocks on 10 May 2013.

Inquiries led to police uncovering an alleged fraud syndicate involved in hacking, identity crime and other fraud offences, as well as the use of a Costa Rica-based currency transfer and payment-processing company to launder money. That company was shut down by an overseas government last year.

Numerous people have been arrested and charged and remain before the court in Sydney after being charged by Strike Force Kaye detectives.

Early yesterday (Tuesday 25 February 2014), Strike Force Kaye detectives and officers from the AFP executed a search warrant at a property in Brisbane, where they arrested a 23-year-old man.

The man, who was arrested and charged by NSW Police for a number of fraud-related offences last February (2013), failed to show up at a number of scheduled court appearances, resulting in police issuing 14 warrants for his arrest. The warrants relate to 96 fraud-related offences, which allegedly amounted to more than $1.8 million.

Included in the list of 96 offences are charges relating to:

- The unauthorised transfer of funds from multiple bank accounts;

- The forging of identification documents, including drivers licenses;

- The sale of non-existent goods via an online marketplace; and,

- Numerous cases of credit card fraud.

Following the man’s arrest, officers from the AFP executed a search warrant at one of his relative’s homes in Melbourne. During the search, police located and seized a large amount of cash and numerous electronic devices.

The man appeared before court in Brisbane yesterday, and will be extradited to Sydney later today (Wednesday 26 February 2014).

The AFP are expected to lay additional charges in relation to the man’s recent activities at a later date.

The Commander of the NSW Police Force’s Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, commended Strike Force Kaye detectives for their remarkable efforts.

“To date, 18 people have been arrested and collectively charged with more than 236 fraud-related offences,” Detective Superintendent Katsogiannis said.

“Strike Force Kaye detectives have done an excellent job. They have been absolutely relentless in their pursuit of people who we believe have fraudulently obtained millions of dollars worth of ill-gotten gains.”

Detective Superintendent Katsogiannis added that while fraud is often a silent crime, its impact on victims can be devastating.

“Unlike armed robberies or bag-snatches which typically occur while the victim is present, fraud victims are often completely unaware that they are being robbed,” Detective Superintendent Katsogiannis said.

“Yet the impact on the victim can be equally as devastating. Some victims of fraud lose their entire life savings; their whole life’s work lost as a result of a scam undertaken by a greedy criminal.

“If you suspect you may have been the victim of fraud, or you know of anyone who is committing fraudulent acts, please contact Crime Stoppers immediately.”

AFP Manager Cyber Crime Operations, Commander Glen McEwen, praised the joint work of the two agencies.

“This is an example of effective cross-jurisdictional cooperation in combating cybercrime activities,” Commander Glen McEwen said.

Police are urging anyone with information about fraud or cybercrime to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://www.police.nsw.g

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