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Victorian man sentenced for telephone attacks and phishing scams

11 November 2021, 4:24pm
Media Release

Victorian man sentenced for telephone attacks and phishing scams

A 30-year-old Bendigo man today (11 November 2021) has been sentenced in the Melbourne County Court to 307 days, already served, released on a recognizance release order for telephone based offending, various hacking and financial phishing offences to facilitate large scale fraudulent purchases.

He was also given a community corrections order for a period of 3 years and 300 hours of community service was imposed. Between 14 October and 18 October 2018, multiple Victoria Police Stations were affected by a coordinated denial of service attack on their phone system.

The attack involved individual Police Stations being inundated with incoming telephone calls, overwhelming the system and preventing members of the police station from making phone calls and/or receiving legitimate phone calls from members of the public or government personnel. About 10,984 telephone calls were diverted to Victoria Police stations by the Bendigo man.

Further telephone based offending was identified as part of the investigation in which the man had devised a computer system which enticed people to respond to a text message requesting a call back immediately as they needed help.

As part of the cyber-attack, the system played pre-recorded abuse and threats to people replying to the call.

The victim and other unsuspecting people responding to the text were bridged together and further pre-recorded abusive messages were played causing members of the public to abuse and threaten one another in a case of mistaken identity.

Between November 2017 and June 2019, the man also conducted various hacking and financial phishing offences to facilitate large scale fraudulent purchases.

The police investigation further revealed the man used a series of pseudonyms to mask his offending, by falsely subscribing mobile telephone services, email address, and using drop addresses to collect and distribute fraudulently purchased items. The man obtained 2500 credentials including names and credit card details.

The man was arrested by the AFP on 14 June 2019 at his home in Bendigo and was later charged with:

One count of causing an unauthorised impairment of electronic communication to or from a computer knowing that the impairment was unauthorised contrary to subsection 477.3(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995(Cth). Unauthorised impairment of electronic communication.  

One count of using a carriage service in such a way that reasonable persons would regard that use as being menacing, harassing or offensive, contrary to subsection 464.17(1) of the  Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

One count of controlling an email account with the intention to use this email to commit an offence of dishonestly dealing in personal financial information contrary to section 480.4 of the  Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

Two counts of dishonestly dealing in personal financial information, namely credit card account information, belonging to another, without the consent of that person, contrary to section 480.4 of the  Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

Five counts of deception namely using credit card information without authority dishonestly obtained property.  Section 81 Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) - Obtaining property by deception.

AFP Southern Command Acting Commander of Investigations Raegan Stewart said the close collaboration with Victoria Police contributed to the success of the investigation. 

“It is pure luck that this man’s offending didn’t result in fatal consequences by impacting Victoria Police telecommunications infrastructure,” A/Commander Stewart said. 

“These are the real-world impacts of cybercrimes that are often unseen: the critical resources targeted or the thousands of unknowing victims who have their personal details compromised and caught up in scams.”  

For tips on identifying a scam (phishing) message, visit If you are a victim of cybercrime, you can report it online or contact the Australian Cyber Security Hotline on 1300 CYBER1 (1300 292 371).

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