Photo: Publis Service Commissioner Brandon Presley speaks at a Tuesday news conference announcing an arrest in a scheme that bilked an elderly Tupelo resident of thousands of dollars. (Brandon Presley Twitter)
Officials Tuesday announced the arrest of a Virginia man on charges of defrauding an elderly Tupelo resident out of nearly $19,000 through a scam that began with an illegal telemarketing phone call.
Yao Lin, age 50 of Ruther Glen, Virginia has been arrested and is charged with three counts of false pretense and two counts of mail fraud.
Tupelo Police officials, District Attorney John Weddle, and Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley made the announcement of the arrest in a news conference.
Investigators with the Tupelo Police and Presley’s office, working with the District Attorney, were working on a complaint by an elderly Tupelo resident since back in March. Surveillance video was able to record the suspect while conducting the crime, it was reported.
Officials say Lin is part of a group of scammers using unsolicited phone calls to trick victims into purchasing gift cards as payment for debts and other false claims.
Lin is also facing charges in Georgia and has been federally indicted on similar charges.
“Enforcing the law against organized fraud presents unique challenges,” said District Attorney Weddle. “Many of these scammers operate across the borders of our State to prey on our citizens, using technology to prevent their capture. Whenever possible, we will work closely with local and federal agencies to prosecute those responsible.”
“It is often the most vulnerable that fall prey to the crimes,” Presley added. “I applaud the swift work by District Attorney John Weddle, our PSC investigators, and the Tupelo Police Department in catching this suspect.”