Aspiring to become a top model is a dream of many young women and men. Unfortunately, many fraudulent companies recognize these high hopes, and use this as a perfect opportunity to capitalize. For this matter, you may have been approached on the street by someone claiming to be a modeling talent scout. He or she may appear professional. They may even have professional-looking business cards. Commonly, these so-called modeling scouts use lines such as, “you have a unique look.”
Even though there has been a number of news program addressing modeling rip-offs, many people continue to fall prey to their tactics. Why? For starters, fake modeling agencies have mastered the art of flattery. They know what to say, and how to boost an aspiring model’s confidence. Furthermore, these modeling scouts can easily pinpoint easy targets. Not all modeling agencies or talent scouts are fakes. In fact, some big-name models and actresses have been discovered in airports and so forth. Still, before signing with a modeling agency and spending hundreds of dollars on photos recognize the signs of a possible modeling scam.
Never Pay an Upfront Fee – A common tactic among fake modeling agencies is requiring new clients to pay a one-time, non-refundable upfront fee. Potential models must pay this fee before they can be represented by an agency. The fee varies. However, typical fees are a couple of hundred dollars. Unfortunately, after the aspiring model pays the fee, they never hear from the agency again. Additionally, be suspicious of companies that only accept cash or money order payments.
Use Your Own Photographer – Before a model is able to attend interviews or go-sees, he or she must have a portfolio. Fake modeling agencies will request that models use their suggested photographer. The photographer’s fee can range from $500 – $1000, depending on the number of photos taken. Obviously, the suggested photographer works for the fake agency, all fees paid are profit for the agency, and the model is never hired for a job. Avoid this scam by choosing your own photographer. Models with their own portfolio do not have to pay an agency for photos.
Get References – Fake modeling agencies will make claims of working with several companies and placing models on numerous jobs. Be skeptical and investigate their claims. Ask for the name, phone number, and contact person for past clients. Moreover, request to speak with current models signed with the agency. If the modeling agency is unwilling to divulge this information, be cautious. Also, contact the Better Business Bureau and inquire about possible complaints against the agency.
Get Everything in Writing – If the modeling agency guarantees a certain amount of assignments or income per assignment, get it in writing. Fake modeling agencies have a way of exaggerating the truth and outright lying. Lastly, never sign a contract or document without reading. Clever modeling agencies may include a clause that prevents clients from seeking legal action.