SW Miami-Dade business owner thwarts scam involving $4K in iPhones

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Surveillance video captured a Southwest Miami-Dade business owner thwarting an alleged scam of thousands of dollars worth of iPhones from his store.

Andre Coakley, the president of Credit360, said someone using the name “Jessica Gonzalez” came up with a detailed plan to rip him off, at around 10:30 a.m., Tuesday.

Coakley said the alleged scam began with an alert from the state.

“I got a notification from Sunbiz letting me know that was a member added to my business,” he said.

“Jessica Gonzalez” was added as a member of Credit360, Inc. on Oct. 3. Then, Coakley received another notice from a cellphone store that said Gonzalez bought some items for the business.

However, Coakley said, “I don’t know her at all.”

Surveillance video captured a silver Chevrolet sedan arriving at the business, and a man seen walking inside was dispatched as a distraction.

“He walks into the office,” Coakley said. “The FedEx truck pulls up, and that’s when she gets out.”

While her friend is inside, the woman waits to meet the deliveryman, but he will not let her sign for the packages outside.

“Which, that little bit of time helped buy me time because — as you see — I happen to be pulling up right then,” Coakley said. “She gets the packages, boom. She sees me coming in, and I confront her. I’m like, ‘What’s going on? Why are you getting packages here?’ She says these are her packages. I’m like, ‘Nope. Let me get those packages.'”

Inside the packages sent to Gonzalez at Coakley’s business address were $4,000 worth of iPhones. Coakley believes that with the tracking number, the culprits knew when to come and collect them.

“If I was off by 15 seconds, she would have gotten away with the merchandise,” he said. “It’s stressful. It’s stressful.”

He added he could have been stuck with the bill because someone inside the business did sign for the packages.

Coakley has submitted paperwork with the state to remove the fraudulent name from the business and has filed two reports with Miami-Dade Police. He wants the pair caught and wants to warn other businesses about what could have happened.

“It’s real,” Coakley said. “It lets you know it’s the real deal and how conniving people can be.”

7News has reached out to the state to find out how someone managed to officially add their name to someone else’s business.

If you have any information on this attempted scam, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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