Signs of Modelling Scams ( scam)

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Could you ever be a model or an actor? Perhaps it's your children who have the right look? If a talent scout says you have a future in the industry, you might be flattered — and interested. However, you could be the victim of a modelling scam.


Modelling Agencies as opposed to Modelling Schools and Programs

Modelling and talent agencies help both experienced and aspiring models and actors find work. They are compensated when you are compensated. Some agencies will only allow you to register with them, while others will allow you to register with other agencies as well.

Modelling schools and programs teach you the skills you'll need to start a modelling career, such as how to apply makeup and hair, use proper diction, and walk down a runway. Enrolment usually requires payment in advance.

Do your research before signing up with an agency or school, and make sure you have details in writing about what they'll do for you and any promises they make.


Modelling Scam Warning Signs

Keep an eye out for phony talent scouts if you're pursuing your child's modelling career. These con artists offer to set up a photo shoot or classes to assist you in finding modelling or acting jobs for your child.

What they don't tell you is that the market for child models and actors is very small because a child's appearance changes quickly, and legitimate agents, advertising agencies, casting directors, and producers typically request casual snapshots rather than professional photos.

Although casting calls for the "next child star" are real, the ads are frequently used to entice parents to enrol their children in expensive acting classes.

So, whether you meet a talent scout on the street, see an ad for a modelling agency online, or learn about a modelling school or program, here are some red flags:

The agency would like you to pay them. Real modelling agencies will not charge you for a test shoot, photographs, or to "secure your spot" in a modelling job. They'll find you work and pay you after the client does. The contract you sign with the agency should specify what percentage of any money you make on assignments goes to the agency.

They guarantee you will be hired. Even for successful models, modelling assignments can be irregular. There are no guarantees in life. And, depending on where you live, the job market for those positions may be very limited.

They promise high pay. What models can earn, like modelling assignments, is highly erratic. Walk away if an agency or program makes these guarantees.

They claim you must use a specific photographer. While some agencies have regular photographers, they should not make using their photographers a requirement for getting assignments.

They press you into signing a contract. You need to investigate a company before giving them money or personal information. If an offer is valid today, it should be valid tomorrow as well.

They boast about their achievements...but no one has heard of them. Unless the agency is new, they should be able to demonstrate that they have had success in finding work for models. If an agency boasts about its track record, challenge them to demonstrate it. Request a list of clients, models, and actors who have previously worked with the agency. It's also suspicious if the agency doesn't have a website. Even if they do, any promises or "guarantees" they make about modelling jobs and earnings, or any requests for money up front, make it a scam.


Avoiding a Modelling Scam

Investigate the company. Try Googling the name of the modelling school or agency plus words like "scam," "review," or "complaint."

Never pay an agency in advance. Any agency that requests payment to represent you is a scam.

Do not work with a modelling program that tells you how much you must pay. If a modelling program or school requires specific types of payments — cash, money order, gift cards, wire transfers through companies like MoneyGram or Western Union, or cryptocurrency — it's a dead giveaway that it's only interested in your money and not your modelling career.

Do not work with an agency that requires you to use its staff for photo shoots or auditions. Do not work with an agency if they require you to use their photographer or makeup artist. You have the option of hiring your own makeup artist and photographer.

If your state requires it, inquire whether the company or school is licensed or bonded. Check with your local consumer protection agency or the state attorney general for more information. Check that the license is up to date.

Obtain references. Get the names and contact information of any models or actors who have recently landed work through the agency. Scam agencies may display photos of successful models they did not represent on their walls or websites. They also use the names of well-known companies that have allegedly hired the models they represent in order to obtain contact information for the companies where the agency claims to have placed models and actors.

Make a written record of everything. This includes verbal promises and assurances.

Keep duplicates of important documents. Keep your contract and other important documents safe.


What Should You Do If You Paid a Scammer?

Scammers frequently ask you to pay in ways that make it difficult to recover your money. The sooner you act, regardless of how you paid a scammer, the better.
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