My Pictures Business Was Targeted by a Pretend Check out Fraud

What would you do for this test? I’m photographer Dave Koch, and this is the story of how my true estate photography organization was not long ago targeted by a phony test scammer.

I was lately hired to shoot 6 houses of different sizes. It was my typical charge for MLS shoots, so though it is a big occupation, it was nothing I was going to make a ton of funds on. All nicely and good… but let’s go back to the starting, in which all good tales start out.

The Preliminary Client Ask for

My to start with speak to with Tony Montego was on April 1st, 2022…. And that ought to have told me some thing correct there. It was a shorter and to-the-place e mail that basically claimed: “I want your Pictures company in Salt Lake City”. The electronic mail was from “WENDY’S Properties, LLC

Abrupt to be confident, but I have gotten other, very similar terse e-mail that have turned out to be superior work opportunities. I replied the similar day with:

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

To which Tony replied with a considerably for a longer period email detailing his requirements.

Tony tells me he demands 6 attributes shot, all in the Salt Lake Valley. He supplies addresses and square footage totals for each and every — that assists a Lot! He goes on to say he wishes 30 to 40 images of each and every site, masking equally inside and exterior. Finest of all, his dates are open, so I can choose and pick out when to shoot. All he wishes is a quotation.

Well, this is fantastic for me — I have a thing to fill in on slack days, and I have no hurry having them. This is not uncommon I have finished employment like this for builders before… and I love undertaking them mainly because of the overall flexibility.

I get my estimate out, dependent on his specified square footage estimates that night. The up coming day, he replies that he is likely to have to have “before and after” photos, so he is doubling my estimate, and he asks if that is ok. Then he asks me to produce an “invoice payment request by way of QuickBooks” for that total.

I do not use QuickBooks, so I reply that I can’t do this. He then asks for my name and tackle to send a look at. I convey to him I only need to have 50 percent down as a deposit, but he insists on paying out in full. Yet again, unconventional, but not unheard of.

The Examine Arrives

The next factor I know, a check out is sent to my office for the full total. Again, abnormal but not unheard of.

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

But then Tony emails me this not 10 minutes immediately after the supply: “The examine sent to your front door, did you receive it?”

Now my spidey sense starts tickling…. Was this man just seeing tremendous closely…? Or probably he just obtained an e-mail notification. Regardless, I’m starting off to feel this is strange. But I answer indeed, I have it in hand. Then I get this:

“Friday, may perhaps be immediately after the look at clears, you can make a deposit via your cellular financial institution application or ATM today”

And now I am certain it is a rip-off. I never know how or why… But this ain’t proper.

Purple Flags Everywhere

Now I glimpse at the look at, and I see that the Wendy’s symbol does not glance ideal. And it’s printed otherwise than the rest of the examine. And the return tackle on the transport label is not Dave Thomas Boulevard.

The Wendy’s logo did not glimpse right…

I appear back again above issues, and I comprehend none of his emails have a signature bar, with “Senior VP of Acquisitions” or anything at all like that… No signatures at all.

But the largest red flag was the Gmail deal with. Any one operating for Wendy’s would definitely use a e-mail address, or a thing incredibly very similar. NOT a Gmail handle!

I Google Wendy’s Attributes, and there in truth is such an entity. But Googling “Tony Montego” is a lot a lot more exciting — I counsel you do it. Somebody has designed a Tony Montego Nigerian Scammer site on LinkedIn, which is a hoot. But there’s enough there to know this is a fraud.

I would just like the neighborhood to know about this scam… and cons in typical. If it is as well good to be true, it in all probability is. Check out return email addresses. Check with issues. Defend oneself. And really do not belief Tony!

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

Be risk-free out there!

About the creator: Dave Koch is a performing actual estate and commercial photographer dependent in Utah. With around a 10 years of experience in the discipline, Dave has been regarded by his peers with the Finest of Condition award two times for his business photography. Before stepping out on his possess, Dave used fifteen a long time as a expert photojournalist throughout California, Arizona, and Utah. For enjoyable, Dave enjoys paying his free of charge time checking out the duration and breadth of his adopted residence state of Utah with his wife and daughter. You guessed it: getting shots. You can locate much more of his do the job on his internet site, Facebook, and Instagram.