My Pictures Organization Was Qualified by a Pretend Verify Fraud

What would you do for this check? I’m photographer Dave Koch, and this is the tale of how my serious estate photography organization was just lately specific by a fake verify scammer.

I was lately hired to shoot 6 qualities of different dimensions. It was my normal price for MLS shoots, so while it is a major task, it was absolutely nothing I was heading to make a ton of revenue on. All well and good… but let’s go back again to the starting, the place all very good stories get started.

The Initial Client Ask for

My initially call with Tony Montego was on April 1st, 2022…. And that must have advised me something correct there. It was a brief and to-the-position e-mail that basically reported: “I will need your Pictures assistance in Salt Lake City”. The e mail was from “WENDY’S Attributes, LLC

Abrupt to be positive, but I have gotten other, related terse e-mails that have turned out to be great careers. I replied the identical day with:

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

To which Tony replied with a substantially extended email detailing his requirements.

Tony tells me he needs 6 houses shot, all in the Salt Lake Valley. He presents addresses and sq. footage totals for every — that helps a Whole lot! He goes on to say he wants 30 to 40 illustrations or photos of every spot, masking equally inside and exterior. Very best of all, his dates are open, so I can decide on and decide on when to shoot. All he wants is a estimate.

Properly, this is very good for me — I have some thing to fill in on slack days, and I have no rush acquiring them. This is not strange I have finished work opportunities like this for builders before… and I love doing them mainly because of the flexibility.

I get my quotation out, primarily based on his specified sq. footage estimates that evening. The next working day, he replies that he is going to require “before and after” illustrations or photos, so he is doubling my estimate, and he asks if that is ok. Then he asks me to develop an “invoice payment request by means of QuickBooks” for that volume.

I do not use QuickBooks, so I reply that I can not do this. He then asks for my name and handle to send out a check. I convey to him I only have to have 50 % down as a deposit, but he insists on spending in full. Yet again, strange, but not unheard of.

The Verify Arrives

The subsequent factor I know, a look at is shipped to my business for the whole total. Once more, uncommon but not unheard of.

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

But then Tony emails me this not 10 minutes following the shipping: “The examine shipped to your entrance door, did you receive it?”

Now my spidey feeling starts off tickling…. Was this man just watching tremendous closely…? Or it’s possible he just acquired an email notification. Regardless, I’m commencing to consider this is odd. But I answer indeed, I have it in hand. Then I get this:

“Friday, may well be immediately after the verify clears, you can make a deposit via your cellular lender application or ATM today”

And now I am confident it’s a scam. I don’t know how or why… But this ain’t appropriate.

Red Flags Just about everywhere

Now I seem at the look at, and I see that the Wendy’s brand does not appear ideal. And it is printed otherwise than the rest of the test. And the return tackle on the delivery label is not Dave Thomas Boulevard.

The Wendy’s brand did not look right…

I look back over things, and I comprehend none of his email messages have a signature bar, with “Senior VP of Acquisitions” or just about anything like that… No signatures at all.

But the largest pink flag was the Gmail handle. Any person doing the job for Wendy’s would certainly use a electronic mail tackle, or some thing quite identical. NOT a Gmail deal with!

I Google Wendy’s Homes, and there certainly is this kind of an entity. But Googling “Tony Montego” is a lot a lot more fun — I counsel you do it. Somebody has created a Tony Montego Nigerian Scammer webpage on LinkedIn, which is a hoot. But there’s adequate there to know this is a fraud.

I would just like the group to know about this scam… and cons in basic. If it’s too excellent to be genuine, it most likely is. Check out return email addresses. Question queries. Safeguard by yourself. And do not believe in Tony!

I have no question that Wendy’s has Absolutely nothing to do with this, so I imply no slight versus them, it is just a scammer who has chosen them to operate his rip-off with. But there is no question this is a rip-off.

Be protected out there!

About the creator: Dave Koch is a doing work real estate and professional photographer dependent in Utah. With around a ten years of knowledge in the discipline, Dave has been recognized by his peers with the Ideal of State award twice for his commercial photography. Right before stepping out on his individual, Dave used fifteen decades as a experienced photojournalist across California, Arizona, and Utah. For exciting, Dave enjoys paying his free time discovering the duration and breadth of his adopted property point out of Utah with his wife and daughter. You guessed it: using photographs. You can locate far more of his function on his web page, Fb, and Instagram.