Six Melbourne men have been charged over a sophisticated international phone scam, which police say potentially thousands of Australians have been victim to.

The scam allegedly involved victims receiving a phone call from someone purporting to be their telco provider.

The caller went on to offer cheaper deals on the victim’s existing phone plan or a highly discounted phone upgrade.

The surge in spyware prompted a UN panel of human rights experts to call for a moratorium on the sale of such surveillance tools.
The surge in spyware prompted a UN panel of human rights experts to call for a moratorium on the sale of such surveillance tools. (AP)

The victims were asked to provide credit card details to sign up to a discounted phone plan or to pay for a phone upgrade, with the new phone to be delivered to them.

Detectives allege the new phones the victims had paid for were intercepted by thieves before they were delivered, and that they were then exported out of the country to be on-sold.

Victoria Police worked closely with Australian Border Force, Australia Post, Toll, Optus, TPG Telecom and Telstra as part of the investigation, which spanned one year.

Police arrested a 49-year-old Clayton man in Tullamarine about 6.30pm last night.

He has been charged with three counts of conspiracy to cheat and defraud and bailed to appear at court next week.

Five other men have already been charged with conspiracy to cheat and defraud and theft over the scam – a 35-year-old Maidstone man, a 35-year-old Keysborough man, a 25-year-old Springvale South man, a 24-year-old Box Hill man and a 32-year-old Clayton man.

Detective…

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