Sydney bank accounts hacked in $1.5 million ‘tap and pay’ fraud

Three men have been charged over an elaborate “tap and pay” scam that saw $1.5 million stolen from at least 45 hacked bank accounts across Sydney.

NSW Fraud and Cybercrime police allege a sophisticated syndicate ported mobile phones, illegally accessed bank accounts through mobile apps, and used HCE technology, which provides an exact virtual representation of a banking card, to purchase $1.5 million in electronic and luxury items, which they then on-sold.

Early morning raids across multiple suburbs yesterday saw two men, aged 22 and 24, arrested, and fraudulent documents, illegal drugs and three firearms seized.

Another 42-year-old man was arrested last night at Sutherland police station.

Officers executed warrants at homes in Rockdale, West Ryde, Greystanes, Bankstown, and Ultimo, as well as an Auburn office and a storage facility in Camperdown.

The 24-year old man, from Greystanes, was charged with 268 offences including fraud, money laundering, dealing with identity information, unauthorised access of information and participating in a criminal group.

The 22-year-old man, from West Ryde, was charged with 21 fraud-related offences and participating in a criminal group.

The 42-year-old man was charged with fraud, dealing with identification information and possessing an unregistered firearm.

The trio have been refused bail and will appear in court today.

Police said the arrests serve as a reminder to members of the community to be increasingly vigilant in protecting their personal and financial information.

“For every advancement in technology, there is a criminal looking for a way to exploit it for their own advantage,” Fraud and Cybercrime Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said.

“Personal information from documents such as bank statements, and phone or utility bills, can be used to access bank accounts, port mobile phones, or take over an identity completely.”

He said while police were doing everything they could to combat cyber criminals, they urged the community to be aware of scammers and to do everything possible to prevent their information from being stolen.


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