SANDY — A man who police say was making fraudulent credit cards using real credit card numbers was arrested over the weekend.
Son Van Ho, 41, of Laguna Hills, Calif., was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of 10 counts of unlawful possession of another's identity documents and 10 more counts of making fake credit cards.
Sunday night, Sandy police received a call from a man in Wyoming who said his stolen credit card was being used in their jurisdiction. Investigators went to a local motel where the card was used, found Ho in his room and arrested him, said Sandy Police Sgt. Jon Arnold.
Police said they found forged checks, blank plastic credit cards and an imprinting machine in the motel room.
He was making checks, but he was also making credit cards. He would get blank ones, and he would copy credit card numbers and put them on to his new card.
–Sgt. Jon Arnold, Sandy PD
"He was making checks, but he was also making credit cards," Arnold said. "He would get blank ones, and he would copy credit card numbers and put them on to his new card."
Detectives found a stack of 20 to 30 blank prepaid credit cards, typically purchased as gift cards. Arnold said investigators believe Ho was stealing those cards, and then used an imprint machine to transfer the numbers from real cards onto them.
"He's stealing blank cards, imprinting the victim's account number and putting his name on it. So when people swipe it, it comes back as not working. So they stop swiping it and enter the number by hand," Arnold said.
Once a merchant enters the credit card number by hand, it comes back as valid, and Ho's name that he put on the card matches his own real identification.
Ho was reportedly headed back to California from Iowa when he was arrested, Arnold said. Investigators were looking Tuesday at whether Ho committed crimes in all of the states he passed through. Arnold said he typically used a fake credit card for a day or two before the real card was canceled by the owner.
He was released from the Salt Lake County Jail five hours after being booked in because of overcrowding issues, according to jail documents.
Ho does not have a criminal history in Utah, but Arnold said he has a lengthy record outside of Utah.