Alleged Phishing Gang Busted in South Africa

The Cape Times reports that five alleged members of a cybercrime gang were recently arrested in South Africa and charged with both phishing and smishing (phishing via SMS) (h/t Sophos).

The suspects, aged 26 to 32, were arrested last Wednesday after police received a tip about suspicious activity at a house in the Cape Town suburb of Brooklyn. When the police arrived, the suspects apparently threw their mobile phones out a window to try to hide them.

“Two laptops, 16 cell phones and various documents with ID numbers and bank details belonging to different people were confiscated from the house,” police spokesman FC van Wyk told the Cape Times. “On further investigation of the laptops, police found letterheads of different companies and organizations, as well as proof of payment e-mails on them.”

“As always, be very careful of any sort of payment-related advisory received electronically,” advises Sophos’ Paul Ducklin. “It may sound upbeat and professional, but that’s no guarantee of legitimacy; it may sound threatening or worrisome, but that doesn’t mean you need to respond.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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