A total of 54 individuals suspected of being involved in a major South African cybercrime ring will appear on Tuesday before a judge.
According to authorities, cited by City Press, the suspects allegedly made over 15 million ZAR ($1.45 million / €1.1 million) with the aid of stolen information.
The alleged members of the syndicate, which is said to have international links, face charges of fraud, money laundering, racketeering and theft.
Prosecutors claim they’ve used phishing emails to trick unsuspecting users into handing over their personal and financial details. In order to bypass the protection mechanisms set in place by financial institutions and empty their targets’ accounts, they’ve leveraged a technique known as SIM swap.
In addition to phishing, they’re also said to have obtained personally identifiable information from doctors, dentists and lawyers.
Authorities in South Africa say this is one of the biggest and most sophisticated schemes they’ve ever investigated.