A Queensland septuagenarian who created three allegedly fraudulent IT companies has been charged by police following an investigation into a multinational ransomware scam.
The Queensland Police revealed on 10 July that detectives from the Mackay Criminal Investigation Branch had charged a man following investigations into a money laundering scam targeting computer users.
Police allege that the 75-year-old Queensland man fraudulently set up three Australian companies, JC Enterprising, JC Web Creations and ITZ Services between February 2015 and July 2017.
The companies were allegedly founded after the man was contacted by a fake overseas computer repair company to become its local representative to receive funds from their customers.
According to police, victims were subject to cold calling scams, with callers telling potential victims that their computers needed repairs, with many providing remote access to the scammers, who then downloaded ransomware.
Police also allege that the scammers demanded money be paid to a Mackay-based bank account or money order to facilitate unlocking the victims’ computer.
It is alleged that the man transferred funds in excess of $1 million to a number of overseas entities between 2010 and 2017.
The Queensland Police said that a 75-year-old man was arrested on 7 July and charged with recklessly engage in money laundering.
“Under no circumstances should people download software to their computer in this sort of scenario,” Mackay Crime and Support Service detective inspector, Nikki Colfs, said.