Breaking News

My Photography Enterprise Was Focused by a Bogus Check Scam

What would you do for this verify? I’m photographer Dave Koch, and this is the tale of how my genuine estate photography organization was a short while ago focused by a bogus look at scammer.

I was lately hired to shoot 6 attributes of varying sizes. It was my standard charge for MLS shoots, so when it is a huge position, it was nothing I was heading to make a ton of revenue on. All effectively and good… but let’s go again to the starting, where by all good tales begin.

The Preliminary Consumer Ask for

My to start with make contact with with Tony Montego was on April 1st, 2022…. And that need to have advised me something correct there. It was a brief and to-the-point e-mail that simply just said: “I need to have your Photography assistance in Salt Lake City”. The e mail was from “WENDY’S Properties, LLC

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

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

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

Tony tells me he demands 6 homes shot, all in the Salt Lake Valley. He provides addresses and square footage totals for each and every — that can help a Large amount! He goes on to say he would like 30 to 40 photographs of every single site, masking equally interior and exterior. Most effective of all, his dates are open, so I can choose and opt for when to shoot. All he wants is a quotation.

Perfectly, this is excellent for me — I have one thing to fill in on slack times, and I have no hurry obtaining them. This is not abnormal I have completed positions like this for builders before… and I adore undertaking them simply because of the flexibility.

I get my quotation out, based on his specified sq. footage estimates that night. The upcoming day, he replies that he is going to require “before and after” pictures, so he is doubling my estimate, and he asks if that is ok. Then he asks me to develop an “invoice payment request via QuickBooks” for that quantity.

I do not use QuickBooks, so I reply that I can’t do this. He then asks for my title and deal with to deliver a check. I inform him I only have to have 50 percent down as a deposit, but he insists on paying out in comprehensive. Once more, unusual, but not unheard of.

The Check Comes

The upcoming issue I know, a examine is shipped to my workplace for the complete total. All over again, unusual but not unheard of.

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

But then Tony e-mails me this not 10 minutes just after the shipping and delivery: “The check out delivered to your entrance doorway, did you acquire it?”

Now my spidey feeling begins tickling…. Was this guy just looking at tremendous closely…? Or possibly he just bought an e mail notification. No matter, I’m beginning to feel this is weird. But I react sure, I have it in hand. Then I get this:

“Friday, may possibly be immediately after the check out clears, you can make a deposit by means of your mobile lender app or ATM today”

And now I am persuaded it’s a scam. I really do not know how or why… But this ain’t correct.

Purple Flags In all places

Now I glimpse at the check, and I see that the Wendy’s logo does not look proper. And it is printed otherwise than the rest of the test. And the return deal with on the shipping label is not Dave Thomas Boulevard.

The Wendy’s brand did not look right…

I glance back again about issues, and I realize none of his emails have a signature bar, with “Senior VP of Acquisitions” or everything like that… No signatures at all.

But the major red flag was the Gmail handle. Any individual operating for Wendy’s would certainly use a e mail deal with, or some thing extremely similar. NOT a Gmail deal with!

I Google Wendy’s Homes, and there in fact is such an entity. But Googling “Tony Montego” is significantly far more entertaining — I propose you do it. Another person has created a Tony Montego Nigerian Scammer page on LinkedIn, that is a hoot. But there’s adequate there to know this is a fraud.

I would just like the community to know about this scam… and scams in general. If it’s also superior to be correct, it almost certainly is. Look at out return e-mail addresses. Question issues. Protect on your own. And do not believe in Tony!

I have no doubt that Wendy’s has Almost nothing to do with this, so I imply no slight versus them, it is just a scammer who has preferred them to run his scam with. But there is no question this is a scam.

Be risk-free out there!

About the creator: Dave Koch is a doing work authentic estate and industrial photographer based in Utah. With in excess of a ten years of experience in the industry, Dave has been acknowledged by his friends with the Best of Condition award two times for his industrial images. In advance of stepping out on his own, Dave put in fifteen several years as a expert photojournalist throughout California, Arizona, and Utah. For fun, Dave enjoys spending his no cost time checking out the size and breadth of his adopted property state of Utah with his spouse and daughter. You guessed it: using photographs. You can uncover more of his work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.