Detectives have charged two men following an investigation into an alleged coordinated phone and credit card scam targeting elderly residents across Sydney.
Between December 2019 and January 2020, police received reports from victims across Sydney – including Castle Hill, Penshurst, Rushcutters Bay, Allawah and Sans Souci – who had been scammed of personal information and large quantities of money.
Investigators will allege that initial contact was made by phone with the caller, who purported to be from a financial institution, advising that fraudulent transactions had been made on the victim’s credit cards.
The victim was then encouraged to provide their personal information on the phone, or to physically provide identification documents to a courier, who arrived at their home address shortly after.
In one incident, an 85-year-old woman from Penshurst, received a phone call from a woman claiming to be from a bank about 2pm on Wednesday 18 December 2019.
The caller claimed the woman’s bank account had been accessed in South Africa and that $900 had been taken from her account.
To recover her funds, the caller requested the woman place her personal information details into an envelope and provide to a male courier who arrived at the home a short time later.
The incident was reported to officers from St George Police Area Command the following day, after more than $11,000 in fraudulent transactions had been made.
In a separate incident, an 86-year-old man from Castle Hill received a phone call on Friday 3 January 2020, from a woman purporting to be from a bank and told to provide his credit card information.
The incident was reported to officers from The Hills Police Area Command the following day, after nearly $5,000 in fraudulent transaction were made.
Failed attempts to transfer another $10,000 were also flagged and brought to the attention of police.
Following extensive investigations, with assistance from the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad, and a public appeal for information, detectives from The Hills Police Area Command arrested two men – aged 20 and 21 – at Burwood on Tuesday 3 March 2020.
The men, who are both Nepalese nationals, were taken to Burwood Police Station, where the younger man was charged with nine counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception and deal with identity information info to commit etc indictable offence.
Following further investigations by St George Police Area Command, the younger man was rearrested at Kogarah Police Station about 6.20pm yesterday (Thursday 30 April 2020).
He was charged with four additional offences including two counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception and two counts of possess identity info to commit etc indictable offence.
The man has been refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today (Friday 1 May 2020).
The older man was charged with four counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception. The matter was finalised at Burwood Local Court on Friday 17 April 2020.
Investigations into the incidents are continuing.
Anyone with information about phone and credit card scams are urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.