Millions of dollars have allegedly been siphoned from personal superannuation and share trading accounts as part of a cyber fraud.
There are understood to be multiple victims hit by the syndicate, which was revealed by the Australian federal police and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on Tuesday.
Authorities have been investigating the alleged cybercrime for more than 12 months and expect to charge a 21-year-old Melbourne woman with multiple conspiracy offences, including tampering with postage items.
She was due to face court later on Tuesday.
She is accused of being part of a syndicate that used stolen identity information purchased from dark net marketplaces, together with single-use telephone SIM cards and fake email accounts, to achieve “identity takeover”, police said.
These identities, mimicking unknowing real people, were allegedly used to open accounts at various domestic banking institutions. Investigations have uncovered at least 70 such accounts.
The syndicate allegedly siphoned money into the accounts as it stole funds from the victims’ superannuation and share-trading accounts in ASX-listed companies.
Police allege the members of the syndicate tried to cover their tracks by withdrawing the funds overseas and using them to buy assets such as jewellery, before being transferred back to Australia through cryptocurrencies.
“The consequences of the breaches we have discovered are far-reaching, and can be traced back to cybercrime offences that impact everyday Australians,” the AFP’s cyber crime acting commander, Chris Goldsmid, said.