SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A father and son were arrested overnight after a tip led police to a fake credit card and gift card scheme inside of a Southwest Miami-Dade home.
Miami-Dade Police got a search warrant and entered a home located along the 3600 block of Southwest 149th Place, where they found thousands of fraudulent debit, credit and gift cards, guns, laptops and crystal meth. “You could say we found well over 2,000 gift cards, thousands of counterfeit credit cards, and several laptops,” said MDP Detective Marcos Rodriguez.
According to officials, the father and son duo easily stole over $50,000 from unsuspecting victims by draining their bank accounts and obtaining personal information.
The father has been identified as 56-year-old Luis Perez and the son as 32-year-old Jose Luis Perez. Both men are facing over 50 counts of credit card fraud and forgery.
“We’ve lived next to them for 17 years, and they’ve always been quiet,” said one neighbor. “I mean, we know our neighbors on this side, but they’ve really been standoffish all those years.”
Investigators said the duo also made a lot of money by stealing gift cards right off the shelves of stores like Publix and Kohl’s. “The information of the card, the number of the gift card and they would store it in their computer,” said Rodriguez. “They would later get the gift card, return it back to the rack of whatever store they stole it from. Periodically, they would go online, check the numbers that they had as far as the gift cards they had stolen and see if these gift cards were now loaded with money. Once they found that these gift cards were loaded with money they would then redeem the cards by encoding other gift cards with these credit card numbers and either selling them on the streets or using themselves for purchases.”
Some of the items the men purchased with the stolen gift cards were later sold on websites like eBay, said police.
Miami-Dade Police called the bust one of the biggest of its kind. “This is one of the largest busts we’ve come across lately, especially the gift card aspect of it,” said Rodriguez.
Officials advise the public to always check for any tampering before purchasing gift cards.
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