My Images Company Was Focused by a Faux Look at Fraud

Yoshiko Yap

What would you do for this test? I’m photographer Dave Koch, and this is the tale of how my serious estate images company was a short while ago qualified by a phony check scammer.

I was not too long ago employed to shoot six homes of various sizes. It was my normal fee for MLS shoots, so whilst it is a large career, it was nothing I was heading to make a ton of money on. All effectively and good… but let us go back again to the beginning, where by all superior tales begin.

The Original Shopper Request

My very first get hold of with Tony Montego was on April 1st, 2022…. And that ought to have informed me a little something ideal there. It was a brief and to-the-place e-mail that simply reported: “I need to have your Pictures assistance in Salt Lake City”. The email was from “WENDY’S Attributes, LLC

Abrupt to be certain, but I have gotten other, similar terse email messages that have turned out to be very good employment. I replied the exact day with:

“Thanks for your e mail. What can we do for you?”

To which Tony replied with a a great deal more time e-mail detailing his requirements.

Tony tells me he requires 6 attributes shot, all in the Salt Lake Valley. He delivers addresses and square footage totals for just about every — that can help a Lot! He goes on to say he would like 30 to 40 images of each and every site, masking both of those inside and exterior. Finest of all, his dates are open, so I can choose and pick when to shoot. All he wishes is a quote.

Properly, this is excellent for me — I have something to fill in on slack days, and I have no rush having them. This is not unconventional I have carried out positions like this for builders before… and I love doing them due to the fact of the flexibility.

I get my quotation out, based on his specified sq. footage estimates that evening. The up coming day, he replies that he is likely to will need “before and after” images, so he is doubling my estimate, and he asks if that is ok. Then he asks me to build an “invoice payment ask for via QuickBooks” for that total.

I do not use QuickBooks, so I reply that I can not do this. He then asks for my name and address to mail a check out. I explain to him I only will need half down as a deposit, but he insists on paying out in entire. Once again, abnormal, but not unheard of.

The Check Arrives

The up coming factor I know, a verify is shipped to my office environment for the complete volume. Once again, abnormal but not unheard of.

The envelope that arrived by means of USPS.
The contents of the envelope.

But then Tony emails me this not 10 minutes after the shipping: “The verify delivered to your entrance door, did you obtain it?”

Now my spidey perception starts tickling…. Was this person just viewing tremendous closely…? Or possibly he just received an email notification. Irrespective, I’m starting off to imagine this is strange. But I reply of course, I have it in hand. Then I get this:

“Friday, could be right after the look at clears, you can make a deposit by using your cell bank app or ATM today”

And now I am certain it is a scam. I really do not know how or why… But this ain’t suitable.

Crimson Flags All over the place

Now I glance at the examine, and I see that the Wendy’s brand does not look correct. And it’s printed in a different way than the rest of the check out. And the return address on the shipping label is not Dave Thomas Boulevard.

The Wendy’s emblem did not seem right…

I seem back again in excess of factors, and I realize none of his emails have a signature bar, with “Senior VP of Acquisitions” or nearly anything like that… No signatures at all.

But the major purple flag was the Gmail deal with. Anybody operating for Wendy’s would surely use a e-mail address, or anything really identical. NOT a Gmail handle!

I Google Wendy’s Attributes, and there certainly is such an entity. But Googling “Tony Montego” is a lot a lot more enjoyable — I counsel you do it. An individual has created a Tony Montego Nigerian Scammer web site on LinkedIn, which is a hoot. But there’s adequate there to know this is a rip-off.

I would just like the community to know about this scam… and scams in basic. If it’s as well very good to be real, it almost certainly is. Check out out return electronic mail addresses. Check with questions. Shield yourself. And really do not believe in Tony!

I have no question that Wendy’s has Very little to do with this, so I suggest no slight against them, it is just a scammer who has picked out them to run his rip-off with. But there is no question this is a rip-off.

Be harmless out there!

About the author: Dave Koch is a operating genuine estate and business photographer primarily based in Utah. With in excess of a decade of working experience in the discipline, Dave has been identified by his friends with the Most effective of Point out award 2 times for his industrial pictures. Ahead of stepping out on his have, Dave invested fifteen many years as a professional photojournalist across California, Arizona, and Utah. For entertaining, Dave enjoys paying out his cost-free time discovering the length and breadth of his adopted residence condition of Utah with his spouse and daughter. You guessed it: using shots. You can obtain more of his function on his web page, Facebook, and Instagram.

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