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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Scam?
Showing posts 1 - 23 of 23, (reverse)
06/28/2007 11:44:42 AM · #1
Just got this in my email...what do you all think?

Dear Tom,
I'm a real estate agent in United Kingdom. I'm presently aiming to create awareness, seek clienteles and real estate properties around the USA to make an online directory listing universal and of international repute and standard. I want to make real estate properties in USA available to investors and clients in the United Kingdom and vice versa by selling and distributing real estate catalogue in USA, Canada and United Kingdom. My website is currently under construction and it will compliment the real estate catalogue.
This is where you come in with the use of a digital camera; It is my responsibility to ensure that all properties must have photographs of both the interior and exterior views hence i deem it necessary to have a photographer in every state of the USA, who will be contacted to go to any location within their respective cities and take photographs of the property. You will then confirm the property details and forward these information and photographs to me through email for me to upload them on the website. I'm presently looking for a photographer within your jurisdiction who will
1. Visit locations and take photographs of the interior and exterior views of the house or apartment.

2. To forward photographs and details by email attachment or on CDs. You should have a clear and wide shot of each photograph taken. CDs would be sent to me via United Parcel Service using my UPS account which will be provided to you.

3. Photographs should be saved in JPEG format, Size: 6.8" x 5.1", Mega pixels 3.0 & above.

I'm presently looking for a photographer in California. If you are interested, i would like to know how much it will cost for an assignment in the jurisdiction and the minimum amount to deposit.

I do hope to hear favorably from you !

Uri Heller
Estate Agent
06/28/2007 11:46:03 AM · #2
Does this guy bend forks and knives rather than spoons?
06/28/2007 12:01:56 PM · #3
It doesn't sound like a scam...
06/28/2007 12:02:58 PM · #4
Why not quote him a price. He doesn't appear to be asking you for money.

The content shows up a couple of curiosities that might indicate that this guy hasn't been doing his homework on what he says he's been doing his homework on.

His website will compliment the real estate catalogue? Oh yes, it's a beautiful catalogue, nice, and sweet as well. Doesn't wet the bed....

He refers to taking photos within a jurisdiction.

I believe this is a legal term referring to within the boundaries of legal authority.

the word he is looking for is 'district' or 'region'. A real estate agent from the UK would know this.

Why doesn't he use your full name? rather unprofessional I'd say.

What company does he work for? Where are the details?

Having said that though, he's looking to give you money and offering for you to use his UPS account... Doesn't sound like a lot of risk. Why not give him a quote and see where it goes?
06/28/2007 12:40:41 PM · #5
Originally posted by eschelar:

A real estate agent from the UK would know this.

A real estate agent from the UK would not call himself a 'real estate agent'.
06/28/2007 12:42:20 PM · #6
Originally posted by Mr_Pants:

Originally posted by eschelar:

A real estate agent from the UK would know this.

A real estate agent from the UK would not call himself a 'real estate agent'.

And wtf is a "clienteles"?
06/28/2007 12:44:23 PM · #7
Is he really from UK? The spelling of "favorably" in UK is "favourably". He has used "favorably". Check his email's origin IP address and see if that is an UK address.
06/28/2007 12:49:09 PM · #8
... and they're quite often referred to as 'estate agents' not 'real estate agents'.

There are lots of clues that this guy may not be from the UK at all. However, he may be using spelling and terminology of his intended audience rather than the terms/spelling used locally.
06/28/2007 01:46:31 PM · #9
A Googel search for "Uri Heller" did turn up someone in real state by that name. He's originally from Israel and, at the time of the interview, located in Hungary -- though he did say he was looking to expand into London.

If you reply, tread carefully. Don't send any money to anyone and beware of Advance Fee Fraud.

06/28/2007 01:54:34 PM · #10

If you think this is legit, I know a Nigerian banker, real nice guy, whos parents left him millions that you could get a piece of for helping him out.
06/28/2007 02:02:34 PM · #11
If he was a real agent, all he would have to do is get access to the MLS. (multiple listing service?) Thats the national service ALL realtors use and is available to realtors reguardless of who listed it. The only exception is if he was planning to list homes without listing them with the MLS. Which would never work, becuase it would be like trying to sell a home privately. The MLS listings already have photos and info available from the original lsiting agent.
06/28/2007 02:14:29 PM · #12
If he wants to send you a "deposit" and then have you return to him the "overage".... run away fast....
06/28/2007 02:45:54 PM · #13
Scam, this smells bad.
06/28/2007 03:13:36 PM · #14
Scam ... tell him you'll be happy to help him but you need a $5,000 retainer up front. You'll deduct your fee for each photo from the retainer and after that, he can pay as you go. But under no circumstances should you send him money.

Message edited by author 2007-06-28 15:14:10.
06/28/2007 03:15:42 PM · #15
How come everyone assumes this is a scam? It does not fit the normal guise of these online scams... There is no indication in the original email that its illegitimate. I agree that it 'could' develop into a scam, but it just doesn't look like one from what we have seen so far.
06/28/2007 03:29:55 PM · #16
At the end of the email his signature does say "Estate Agent" which is appropriate for the UK apparently. He may also be adjusting his language for the proper audience or it is very possible that he was not born and raised in the UK, but just lives and works there now. So he may have grown up spelling "favorably" and not "favourably."
06/28/2007 03:42:30 PM · #17
I don't know if it is a scam or not, although I err on the side of a scam. Apart from the title he gives himself, and the US spelling of favourably, there are quite a few other errors.

As a professional, I am sure he would call himself a Real Estate Agent, note the capital letters. There are a couple of 'i's instead of I. He states he is a real estate agent in United Kingdom, there should be 'the' before United Kingdom.

The initial contact, for a business letter, would not be Dear Tom, it would Dear Mr T. -----.

So, hence my first suspicion as to a scam. With such a badly written e-mail, it suggests perhaps that his first language is not English, if it is, then I would steer well clear of someone who proports to be a businessman, yet cannot even compose a simple e-mail. If you were trying to attract a partner/aide for your venture, you would make damn sure that you impressed them with your standards.


Added: He would not use -I'm- regarding himself, he would use I am.

Message edited by author 2007-06-28 15:45:21.
06/28/2007 03:42:45 PM · #18
I'd at least ask for a quote and what his terms of payment are. Why not? If nothing else, it'll give us a chance to see what the scam is if it is one :)
06/28/2007 04:32:22 PM · #19
very interesting! please let us know what you've learned...

<placed thread on 'watch'>
06/28/2007 04:35:49 PM · #20
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

How come everyone assumes this is a scam? It does not fit the normal guise of these online scams... There is no indication in the original email that its illegitimate. I agree that it 'could' develop into a scam, but it just doesn't look like one from what we have seen so far.

I'd be you $50 it's a scam. Scammers have to keep coming up with new angles too.

PS> If I win the bet, wire me 500, and I'll send you $450 back.

Message edited by author 2007-06-28 16:41:30.
06/28/2007 04:59:53 PM · #21
this says scam to me for a few reasons...
Poor syntax.
Foreign company looking for a worker.
Limited info to respond to.
No phone, website, company.

To me it seems like a slight variation of the typical photographer scam which everyone has seen. Why would the person need a photographer in every state? Also do they think that 1 person can cover an entire state, especially California? Why can't the listing agents make arrangements for photos? Obviously they must know about this business if this guy is going to be putting of photos of houses for sale.

Also, when people ask for services like this and their angle isn't apparently clear, I usually think scam. No one does something for nothing, so whats this guys angle, how is this going to help his business. Can someone verify that his business exists.

Im sure that if they will agree to any payment you tell them becuase they want to keep you "on the hook".

Ask for a proposal to be drafted and printed on company letterhead stating what services are needed and what payment is being offered. Tell them to also include their real estate agent # or where they are licensed. Have all this mailed to you snail mail not email.

Chances are you will never hear from them again.

06/28/2007 05:14:32 PM · #22
It's a scam. I've heard of this one before.

You go in and do all the leg work, taking photos, gathering addresses etc, and then he looks at your photos showing all the goodies in the houses, decides which ones to rob, and you get the blame.

Avoid it.
07/09/2007 03:39:45 AM · #23
where do you advertise?

I get these ALL the time
it's a major scam, they want to send you a fake check for more than you need and then want you to refund the differance... they will also probably want to send it UPS so they will have a home address, or an address where they can find you and they will also get your signature if you go through with it so WHO knows where it could end-

I would stay FAR AWAY from that!
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