Kaikōura man charged over role in network of scammers

A 28-year-old Kaikōura man has been charged for his alleged involvement in the large-scale scamming of New Zealanders through text messages.

It follows an investigation by Te Tari Taiwhenua, the Department of Internal Affairs.

The investigation was part of Operation Cargo, which uncovered a transnational criminal network of scammers thought to be responsible for most SMS scams in New Zealand last year.

Department of Internal Affairs digital messaging and systems manager Joe Teo said investigators were seeing new methods of SMS scamming not seen before.

“A new approach from scammers means a tactical strategy from multiple organisations is needed to stay ahead of trends in the SMS scam space and stop scammers in their tracks.”

Teo said police, telecommunications providers and New Zealand banks had worked together on the investigation in order to combat the scams.

Through a joint search warrant undertaken by DIA and police, investigators recovered a large number of SIM cards, a significant amount of cash and multiple electronic devices used to spread scams on a large scale.

Tasman organised crime manager Detective Senior Sergeant Shane Dye said the investigation was a great example of agencies working together successfully with the aim of reducing financial harm and holding offenders responsible.

Anyone who receives a scam SMS text message, can report it free of charge by forwarding the message to 7726 and following the prompts.

If anyone is the victim of a scam and has not yet reported it or doesn’t know what action to take, contact your bank and then the police on 105.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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