The Lightroom Photography Scam

Junior photographer urgently required, preferably male. Must have own studio lights and reliable vehicle. All areas in gauteng. fuel, cell and vehicle allowance.
age between 21-35. contact Martin on 0727829423. R6000-R8000 a week.Good day!The above is a copy of the advert currently posted on Jobmail. I was up until recently 'employed' by these people and was caught unawares by this very same advert in December of 2012. This company is run by two compulsive liars who rely on the employee to sustain them. They require the applicant to have his/her own studio equipment (R10 000 worth) and vehicle because they themselves have neither. They will tell you that they have a Nissan Tida in for repairs and that it will be coming out of the shop shortly and will subsequently require the use of your personal vehicle in the interim. This was the lie fed to me for 5 months while my car took a massive beating, travelling almost 300km every day for every task they needed performed, most had nothing to do with a photography position for which I applied.
They do not pay between R6000-R8000 a week but in fact tell you they will pay R200-R300 per day and that they'd pay you either daily or every second day. This is false as I more often than not went unpaid for up to periods of 3 months, promised that if I stuck through this 'difficult' patch with them I would be rewarded with a senior position in the company later on. They do not pay fuel or mantainence as stated in the advert above and do not even have a computer to run things from, they instead asked to use mine. On several occassions my mother and I had to lend them money so that they could buy food, cigarettes and 'medication' of which they seemed addicted to.They are incompetent at running a business and all progress was made at my expense and effort. They are unprofessional and often promise things to clients that they can't ever wish to accomplish. The sum total of their business model is to drive from pre-primary school to the next (in your personal vehicle) verbally and unsuccessfuly setting up shoots for which you will return to each school more than 10 times because of their horrible orginizational skills. Even after returning to these schools that many times only a few photos will get taken and they and thus subsequently you will run at a loss and you won't get paid.I defended them to my family and friends (all of whom were telling me to get out of there) because I am loyal and could see a future for the company. However once I decided that enough was enough and began slowly withdrawing myself until I recieved payment of my outsanding salary, they began harrasing my mother on her personal and work numbers begging her to lend them money and not to tell me about it. Recently I came upon an opportunity for employment elsewhere and immediately made steps to leave the company (giving notice etc). At hearing this they begged me to stay on, promising me the moon in return. They tried to convince my mom to convince me not to go through with it and behind my back slandered my personality and pointed out to my mother all my suppossed flaws. Because it meant I'd be off for two days and they couldn't do anything without my car and equipment, I left them my car, camera and studio lights for 2 days. At this point they were 3 months behind on my salary (I'd worked nearly every day for the last 3 months). I was successful with my application and decided to with hold the photos that they had not yet payed me for until they deposited the outstanding balance to my account. They refused to wire the money, insisting rather that I give them the data and they'd pay me in cash later that week. When I declined they sent my mother an sms threatening her that they would be calling the police and my future employer, laying a charge and sueing me for theft of their intellectual property. At this point I went to them in person to request my money in exchange for the photos they had not yet paid me for. After a short verbal altercation I recieved my money, gave them the photos and washed my hands of the situation.It has however, after many failed interviews come to my attention that they are defamating my character telling interviewers when called for a reference that I am unreliable and not to be touched by any business. This is contrary to the shining letter of recommendation that they have given me which they now accuse me of forging.Please heed my warning and don't let these disgusting people take anything more from anyone. They need to be stopped from ever doing business in this or any other country.Please do not hesitate to call or email for further details on the matter. Thank you in advance.

Report ID: 3795
Crime Category: Fraud
Province: Gauteng
Suburb: N/A
Address: Pretoria, Watermeyer
Crime Date/Time: 10 May 2013, 00:05 AM
Reported By: Username3795
Reported Date: 15 May 2013, 12:05 PM
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  • Ashmini 6 Jun 2013, 10:39 AM

    Our is a school for intellectually challenged learners and Martin took photos of our learners at the beginning of the year and to date we have not received the photos from him. My principal called him on the landline number provided and the number does not exist. Managed to get hold of him on his cellphone and he promises to deliver by 10 or 11 of June. Very unprofessional behavior.

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