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

I was a short while ago employed to shoot 6 homes of various dimensions. It was my regular fee for MLS shoots, so when it is a major position, it was practically nothing I was likely to make a ton of income on. All nicely and good… but let’s go back to the beginning, wherever all fantastic tales get started.

The Original Shopper Ask for

My to start with speak to with Tony Montego was on April 1st, 2022…. And that should have advised me anything appropriate there. It was a brief and to-the-level e-mail that merely mentioned: “I want your Photography provider in Salt Lake City”. The e mail was from “WENDY’S Qualities, LLC

Abrupt to be confident, but I have gotten other, related terse emails that have turned out to be good positions. I replied the identical working day with:

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

To which Tony replied with a significantly longer email detailing his needs.

Tony tells me he requirements 6 qualities shot, all in the Salt Lake Valley. He delivers addresses and square footage totals for each and every — that will help a Whole lot! He goes on to say he would like 30 to 40 visuals of each location, covering the two inside and exterior. Very best of all, his dates are open up, so I can decide and opt for when to shoot. All he would like is a estimate.

Effectively, this is excellent for me — I have one thing to fill in on slack days, and I have no rush obtaining them. This is not unconventional I have finished positions like this for builders before… and I adore doing them for the reason that of the adaptability.

I get my estimate out, centered on his specified sq. footage estimates that evening. The up coming working day, he replies that he is likely to need “before and after” pictures, so he is doubling my estimate, and he asks if that is okay. Then he asks me to build an “invoice payment ask for by using QuickBooks” for that sum.

I do not use QuickBooks, so I reply that I are not able to do this. He then asks for my name and deal with to send out a check out. I notify him I only have to have 50 % down as a deposit, but he insists on shelling out in total. All over again, abnormal, but not unheard of.

The Verify Comes

The subsequent detail I know, a test is delivered to my business office for the whole total. Again, abnormal 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 after the delivery: “The verify delivered to your entrance doorway, did you receive it?”

Now my spidey perception begins tickling…. Was this guy just looking at tremendous closely…? Or it’s possible he just acquired an e mail notification. No matter, I’m starting up to feel this is strange. But I reply certainly, I have it in hand. Then I get this:

“Friday, may be soon after the look at clears, you can make a deposit by means of your cell bank application or ATM today”

And now I am convinced it is a fraud. I never know how or why… But this ain’t proper.

Red Flags Everywhere

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

The Wendy’s symbol did not search right…

I seem again in excess of items, and I know none of his emails have a signature bar, with “Senior VP of Acquisitions” or just about anything like that… No signatures at all.

But the most significant pink flag was the Gmail handle. Any one working for Wendy’s would definitely use a Wendys.com electronic mail handle, or one thing pretty similar. NOT a Gmail address!

I Google Wendy’s Homes, and there certainly is this sort of an entity. But Googling “Tony Montego” is considerably far more fun — I propose you do it. A person has developed a Tony Montego Nigerian Scammer webpage on LinkedIn, that is a hoot. But there is ample there to know this is a rip-off.

I would just like the community to know about this scam… and cons in general. If it’s too fantastic to be accurate, it most likely is. Look at out return email addresses. Ask issues. Safeguard yourself. And really don’t believe in Tony!

I have no question that Wendy’s has Almost nothing to do with this, so I mean 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 fraud.

Be harmless out there!

About the author: Dave Koch is a doing work actual estate and commercial photographer centered in Utah. With over a ten years of experience in the area, Dave has been acknowledged by his friends with the Finest of State award two times for his commercial images. Ahead of stepping out on his possess, Dave invested fifteen decades as a specialist photojournalist throughout California, Arizona, and Utah. For enjoyment, Dave enjoys expending his absolutely free time checking out the duration and breadth of his adopted household point out of Utah with his spouse and daughter. You guessed it: getting pictures. You can locate additional of his get the job done on his web page, Fb, and Instagram.

By Indana