Utah investigators bust Walmart fraud ring that targets elderly

Southern Utah

Stock image of elderly woman | Photo by Kasto 80/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Utah Attorney General’s Office has indicted two suspects in a alleged gift card scheme that resulted in a $600,000 loss to victims, mostly elderly, and Walmart, according to St. George News.

Indicted are Junliang Tang, 35, and Shuyan Wang, 33, who are Chinese nationals. They both are facing felony charges of money laundering, pattern of unlawful activity and unlawful use of a financial card.

The investigation into the fraud ring led to multiple victims, Daniel R. Strong with the Utah Attorney General’s Office stated in the indictment.

The fraud scheme included some of the victims being contacted by phone from an individual claiming to be a police officer. The officer told them to purchase several thousand dollars in Walmart gift cards, the indictment said.

Once the cards were purchased, they were then instructed to scratch off the back exposing the pin numbers and to take a photo and send to the “officer”.

Once investigators identified some of those transactions, they were then able to link them to Sam’s Club memberships which required the suspects to have their pictures taken.

Both Tang and Wang were captured when they went into a Walmart in Utah County and were recognized by security.

You can read more about the scam, and those affected on Stgeorgeutah.com.

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