Media Release: Multi-agency operation shuts down sophisticated credit card factory
Release Date: Thursday, July 26 2012, 02:20 PM
This is a joint media release between the AFP, NSW Police, Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Roads and Maritime Authority
A multi-agency strike force team investigating organised identity crime has seized equipment capable of making thousands of fraudulent credit cards and arrested one person.
The joint operation commenced in April 2011 and yesterday shut down a manufacturing and money laundering syndicate operating out of Sydney stopping a potential $5 million in fraudulent transactions.
Officers executed search warrants at two properties in Ryde in Sydney overnight.
The Identity Security Strike Teams (ISST) are comprised of members from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police Force, NSW Roads and Maritime Services and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
One of the search warrants uncovered a sophisticated credit card ‘factory’ at the residence of a 51-year-old Ryde man, where officers seized more than 2000 blank credit cards potentially worth $2,500 each, 500 fraudulent NSW drivers’ licenses, $25,000 in cash, high end accessories including designer watches, and large amounts of high-end alcohol products.
The man was charged with 11 counts relating to the following charges:
- Dealing in proceeds of crime, being money or property worth more than AUD1,000,000, contrary to section 400.3(1) Criminal Code 1995;
- Using a telecommunications network with intent to commit a serious offence, contrary to section 474.14 Criminal Code Act 1995 by virtue of section 192J Crimes Act 1900 (NSW);
- Make false document, contrary to section 253 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW);
- Dealing with identification information, contrary to section 192J Crimes Act 1900 (NSW); and
- Possession of equipment used to make identification information, contrary to section 372.3 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
The man is scheduled to appear in the Sydney Central Local Court today.
The ISST operates from the AFP's Sydney office with teams also located in Melbourne and Brisbane.
The teams investigate serious and complex identity security matters forming a collaborative network among law enforcement agencies to effectively deal with this crime.
- Police are reminding the public to take precautions to limit the risk of becoming identity crime victims. These include:
- Have a mailbox that is secure and always keep it locked.
- Always store any personal or financial documents in a safe place.
- Destroy old documents and cards before disposing of them, otherwise your trash could become someone else’s means to stealing your identity.
- Beware of cold callers on the phone or salespeople who knock on your door offering you deals. Never provide your private financial or identification information to anyone, whether online, on the telephone or in person, unless you’re totally satisfied they're legitimate.
- Be cautious when providing your personal details online, including credit card details. Always check the bona fides of an online company before making a purchase.
- Protect your identity on social networking sites. Keep your profile private and only become friends with people you know – your personal information and the comments you make provide a profile of yourself that someone can steal.
- Create strong, secure passwords – a mix of letters (upper and lower case), symbols and numbers – and don’t share it with anyone. Be careful using public computers and don’t save passwords into your web browser.
- Always keep your virus security on your computer up to date.
- Never reply to, click on links or open attachments accompanying emails purporting to be from banks. Delete and telephone the bank to verify.
- Check your credit report every year. If you find that you have been marked as having unpaid accounts, for example, that you have never heard of, you might have become the victim of an identity theft.
- Keep your credit and debit cards secure and never let them leave your sight when paying for something, for example the bill at a restaurant.
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333
NSW Police Media (02) 8835 8339
NSW RMS (02) 8588 5999