My Photography Business enterprise Was Targeted by a Bogus Look at Fraud

Ora Sawyers

What would you do for this test? I’m photographer Dave Koch, and this is the story of how my actual estate images enterprise was not long ago qualified by a bogus check out scammer.

I was recently employed to shoot 6 qualities of various dimensions. It was my regular amount for MLS shoots, so when it is a major occupation, it was almost nothing I was heading to make a ton of cash on. All effectively and good… but let’s go back again to the starting, exactly where all fantastic tales get started.

The First Shopper Ask for

My 1st get in touch with with Tony Montego was on April 1st, 2022…. And that must have informed me a thing suitable there. It was a shorter and to-the-level email that basically said: “I need to have your Images services in Salt Lake City”. The e mail was from “WENDY’S Properties, LLC

Abrupt to be positive, but I have gotten other, identical terse e-mails that have turned out to be excellent jobs. I replied the exact same day with:

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

To which Tony replied with a considerably longer email detailing his desires.

Tony tells me he desires 6 properties shot, all in the Salt Lake Valley. He supplies addresses and sq. footage totals for just about every — that allows a Whole lot! He goes on to say he would like 30 to 40 pictures of each individual location, covering both equally interior and exterior. Best of all, his dates are open up, so I can choose and opt for when to shoot. All he would like is a estimate.

Nicely, this is fantastic for me — I have some thing to fill in on slack days, and I have no hurry acquiring them. This is not unusual I have carried out work like this for builders before… and I like doing them because of the adaptability.

I get my estimate out, based mostly on his specified sq. footage estimates that evening. The following working day, he replies that he is likely to will need “before and after” photos, so he is doubling my estimate, and he asks if that is okay. Then he asks me to make an “invoice payment request via QuickBooks” for that volume.

I do not use QuickBooks, so I reply that I simply cannot do this. He then asks for my name and tackle to mail a examine. I notify him I only require fifty percent down as a deposit, but he insists on spending in total. Once again, unconventional, but not unheard of.

The Look at Comes

The future point I know, a look at is sent to my office for the entire quantity. Again, abnormal but not unheard of.

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

But then Tony e-mails me this not 10 minutes following the supply: “The examine sent to your front door, did you acquire it?”

Now my spidey sense begins tickling…. Was this person just observing tremendous closely…? Or possibly he just got an email notification. Regardless, I’m starting off to think this is odd. But I answer of course, I have it in hand. Then I get this:

“Friday, may possibly be just after the examine clears, you can make a deposit through your cell lender app or ATM today”

And now I am convinced it is a rip-off. I really do not know how or why… But this ain’t ideal.

Pink Flags All over the place

Now I glimpse at the look at, and I see that the Wendy’s emblem does not seem ideal. And it is printed in different ways than the relaxation of the examine. And the return handle on the shipping label is not Dave Thomas Boulevard.

The Wendy’s brand did not seem right…

I glance back more than issues, and I recognize none of his e-mail have a signature bar, with “Senior VP of Acquisitions” or just about anything like that… No signatures at all.

But the greatest purple flag was the Gmail address. Any individual performing for Wendy’s would definitely use a e-mail address, or something really identical. NOT a Gmail handle!

I Google Wendy’s Attributes, and there in fact is these kinds of an entity. But Googling “Tony Montego” is considerably more entertaining — I propose you do it. Another person has designed a Tony Montego Nigerian Scammer webpage on LinkedIn, that’s a hoot. But there’s sufficient there to know this is a scam.

I would just like the group to know about this scam… and cons in typical. If it’s as well good to be real, it almost certainly is. Verify out return e mail addresses. Inquire inquiries. Defend oneself. And really don’t belief Tony!

I have no doubt that Wendy’s has Nothing to do with this, so I necessarily mean no slight against them, it is just a scammer who has preferred them to operate his fraud with. But there is no doubt this is a fraud.

Be protected out there!

About the author: Dave Koch is a functioning true estate and commercial photographer based in Utah. With over a 10 years of practical experience in the subject, Dave has been acknowledged by his friends with the Most effective of Point out award two times for his commercial photography. Prior to stepping out on his personal, Dave invested fifteen a long time as a skilled photojournalist throughout California, Arizona, and Utah. For exciting, Dave enjoys shelling out his free of charge time checking out the duration and breadth of his adopted household point out of Utah with his wife and daughter. You guessed it: getting pictures. You can discover additional of his get the job done on his web-site, Facebook, and Instagram.

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