Arrests in Sydney over alleged $2.5m scam

·1-min read

Police have arrested nine Sydney men who allegedly fleeced victims of $2.5 million by cold calling them and pretending to be representing a government agency.

Strike Force Beswick allege the men were part of a criminal syndicate that transferred more than $2.4 million through about 475 electronic money transfers.

Police will allege in court the men targeted people through cold-call phone scams, before transferring the funds overseas via fraudulent bank accounts.

Financial Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett, warned the public to be vigilant when receiving cold calls from an unknown number.

"These scam artists cold-call landlines and mobiles claiming to be from a well-known business or government agencies and then demand some type of payment, often requesting it through money transfer or gift card," she said.

"There is not one government agency - nor legitimate business - in Australia that would request payment via these methods.

"The most important advice we provide is to simply hang up".

The men, all on student visas and ranging in ages from 22 to 27, were arrested across western Sydney, with a 24-year-old Wiley Park man arrested at Sydney International Airport on Monday.

The charges levelled against the men include knowingly/recklessly direct a criminal group assist crime, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime intent to conceal, deal with identity information to commit indictable offence, and deal with property proceeds of crime more than $100,000.

The visa status of all the men arrested has been referred to the Department of Home Affairs, with police expected to make further arrests.

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