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Two men arrested in Dublin for a text message scam that resulted in theft of €64,000

DUBLIN: A cyber fraud and money mule recruitment investigation in Dublin has resulted in the arrest of two men. The arrests were made on charges of stealing thousands of euros from customers of an Irish banking institution through the use of smishing text messages.

Scammers steal money by sending customers a fraudulent text message that appears to be from the bank; if the customers respond, the criminals gain access to their accounts. Between August 13 and November 16, 2020, nine AIB customers lost an estimated €64,000 from their accounts.

The fraudsters are suspected of being members of a criminal gang that engages in cyber-enabled frauds, money mule recruiting, and money laundering.

The suspects were arrested during a search in Lucan with the cooperation of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB). Two youngsters, aged 19 and 20, were arrested for violating Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act of 2006.

The criminals are now being held at the Clondalkin and Ronanstown Garda Stations under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007. They will be interrogated here for up to seven days. A total of 11 people have already been arrested as part of this ongoing investigation, gardai said.

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