A victim was forced to pay $2,200.00 in Target gift cards
Two Asian women have been arrested for impersonating IRS agents and running a phone scam worth $900K.
According to Fontana Police Department, assailants Ailing Lu (25) of Los Angeles and Ji Hyun Lee (25) threatened their victims with action from the IRS to extort money from them.
One male victim reported a “cold call” from a scammer who claimed to be from the IRS. He was told he would be arrested if he didn’t pay $2,200.00 in Target gift cards. The victim obliged and reported the incident to the police.
Fontana detectives and Target’s Loss Prevention Team traced the redemption of the cards to a Target store in LA. Lu and Lee were recognized in surveillance footage from a similar incident investigated by Indiana University Police.
Detectives used search warrants on two locations and found items purchased with the gift cards totalling approximately $900,000.00. Goods included electronics and other gift cards.
The police department believe others may have been involved and their crimes may have spread across the country.
“It’s apparent these suspects were well organized and preyed on the victims’ fear of arrest across our nation,” the police department said in a statement. “As a reminder, no law enforcement or public agency will ever ask you to pay in gift cards. We encourage the public to be wary of any “cold call.””
Lu was charged with theft by false pretenses and conspiracy to commit crime. Lee was charged with conspiracy to commit crime.
NY Post reports that they have both been released on bail.