FONTANA, Ca. – Two women, one from Gardena and the other from Los Angeles were arrested for scamming unsuspecting victims out of thousands of dollars.
Police learned through the investigation, which began on September 4, 2019, that the suspects were making “cold calls” impersonating the IRS and threatening to arrest people if they refused to pay $2200 in Target gift cards. The victims complied and purchased the gift cards and furnished them to the caller. The victim later reported the incident to the Fontana Police.
“Fontana detectives tracked the redemption of the cards to a Target store in in the Los Angeles area,” Fontana Police officials said. “Detectives and Target’s Loss Prevention Team worked together to locate surveillance video of the transactions. Target’s Loss Prevention Unit recalled a similar case where Indiana University Police were investigating a similar incident.” The video surveillance was compared and learned to be the same woman who conducted the transactions.
Detectives were able to identify the suspects as Ailing Lu, 25, of Los Angeles and Ji Hyun Lee, 25, of Gardena. Surveillance was conducted at both of the homes and vehicles in the Los Angeles area. Search warrant searches were conducted at two locations where around $900,000 of new merchandise including electronics, gift cards and other items purchased with gift cards from unsuspecting victims. Several other vehicles were stopped and found to have items purchased with the gift cards.
Police said that the operation was well organized and the suspects preyed on victims’ fear of arrest.
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