Two more arrested over text message scam in which €64,000 stolen

Nine customers of Irish banking institution had money taken after answering texts

To date, 11 people have been arrested as part of the operation with investigations ongoing. File photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

To date, 11 people have been arrested as part of the operation with investigations ongoing. File photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

 

Gardaí investigating a sophisticated hoax text message scam that netted tens of thousands of euro in bank transfers have arrested two men.

Between August and November last year, nine customers of an Irish banking institution saw about €64,000 stolen from their accounts after responding to a fraudulent text message they believed to be from their bank.

This money was subsequently transferred to the accounts of money mules and withdrawn from ATMs in an elaborate fraud known as smishing.

To date, 11 people have been arrested as part of the operation with investigations ongoing.

On Tuesday, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) together with officers from Lucan, Co Dublin, arrested two men aged 19 and 20. Three searches were also carried out at addresses in the Lucan area.

The search and arrests were part of an ongoing operation “investigating a suspected criminal organisation involved in cyber-enabled frauds, the recruitment of money mules and the laundering of the proceeds of these frauds”, gardaí said shortly after the men were brought into custody.

The suspects were arrested under section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006. They are being held in Clondalkin and Ronanstown garda stations where they can be detained for up to seven days.