Jian "David" Huang
Jian "David" Huang
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A man claiming to be an airline employee has been arrested after attempting to scam holiday travelers into purchasing travel credits, Hermosa Beach police said Monday.

Jian "David" Huang, 39, of San Ramon was arrested on Nov. 29 by undercover Hermosa Beach police detectives after allegedly attempting to con a victim into purchasing airline credits purchased on stolen credit card information.

Huang obtained the stolen credit card information while working at a property management company, Hermosa Beach police Detective Mick Gaglia said in a statement.

Police were first contacted on Nov. 17 by a victim in Hermosa Beach claiming he had contacted Huang through a classified advertisement placed on a website.

Huang, who used a posting headlined "Unrestricted airline credit for half off," claimed to be an airline employee selling unused credits.

The victim met with Huang at a coffee shop and paid $900 for the credits.

Police said Huang admitted to detectives he used stolen credit card numbers in the scam.

The suspect would meet with potential victims at coffee shops with Wi-Fi access, and then book airline tickets on his laptop computer using the stolen credit card information.

Victims were given a confirmation number. But after the owner of the stolen credit would report fraudulent charges, the payment would be canceled.

It appears Huang targeted victims beyond the South Bay area, Gaglia said.

"He was all over the place," Gaglia said. "He wasn't just targeting the beach cities."

The victims typically were unaware the flight had not been paid for until they arrived at the airport, Gaglia said in the statement.

Huang typically referred to himself as David Huang or Jim Lee, police said.

Huang has been released by Hermosa Beach police and charged with identity theft and using a stolen credit card, Gaglia said.

Victims of Huang are encouraged to contact Hermosa Beach police Detective Michael Frilot at 310-318-0332 or mfrilot@hermosapolice.org.

douglas.morino@dailybreeze.com

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