Australian police arrest man over 17 million scam texts

Australian police on Wednesday charged a man living in suburban Sydney with sending 17 million scam text messages, one for almost every adult in the country.

New South Wales police said the unnamed 39-year-old was single-handedly responsible for scam texts that have been plaguing mobile phone users across the country.

The texts included fake links purporting to be from Australia Post or toll road operators and were allegedly sent using “SIM boxes” that can send tens of thousands of messages per day.

The man was charged with using networked equipment to “commit serious offence” and granted bail.

“SMS phishing is one of the most common tactics deployed by scammers to obtain banking and other personal information from a victim,” said Jason Smith, commander of the police Cybercrime Squad.

“SIM boxes can hold over 250 active SIM cards and will typically send out up to 150,000 messages per day containing phishing lures to various scams.”