News : Philippines Call Centre Worker Stole Australian Citibank Customer Details
Sydney, NSW, Australia, July 2, 2015 -- An overseas call centre employee allegedly collected banking details of Australian Citibank customers and sold them to a Sydney crime syndicate, which then used the details to defraud the customers of more than $1 million, police say.
Police allege the worker, employed by a firm in the Philippines that carries out customer relations for a number of Australian-based companies, collected banking information, passwords and personal details for the syndicate.
The syndicate then allegedly used the details to make withdrawals and order new credit cards.
The alleged identity fraud racket came unstuck last month when police pulled over a car at Beverly Hills, in Sydney's south, for a random breath test and found a number of allegedly fraudulent documents and other "suspicious items" in the vehicle.
Officers matched details in the documents with frauds against banking customers reported to police by Citibank, sparking an investigation by St George police and the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad.
Four male members of the alleged Sydney syndicate, aged between 23 and 38, were arrested in raids on two homes at Liverpool and West Hoxton on Thursday morning.
They have been charged with multiple fraud offences including using false documents to obtain financial advantage and knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime.
"I'd like to congratulate those officers for their initiative in searching the vehicle and linking the items found with the reports made by the financial institution," St George Local Area Command Superintendent Dave Donohue said.
"Their proactive work has played a critical role in the dismantling of a syndicate targeting unsuspecting banking customers, and has potentially prevented many more potential victims from suffering significant financial loss."
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A spokesman for Citibank said it had worked with police to identify those allegedly responsible and that no customer would be "financially impacted".
"Citi has identified a limited fraud committed against a small number of customer accounts and immediately reported the matter to the NSW Police Fraud Squad," a spokesman said.
"We are co-operating fully with the police investigation and are satisfied that all those responsible have been identified."
Police said inquiries into the call centre and other possible victims were continuing.
The four men will appear in Parramatta Bail Court on Friday.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Citibank is a major international bank, founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, later First National City Bank of New York. Citibank is now the consumer banking arm of financial services giant Citigroup.
Published: Friday, July 3, 2015
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