By Tiffany Rivel
Over 90% of successful scams happen in the modeling industry. Some modeling agencies are nothing more than con jobs designed to cheat aspiring models out of their hard-earned money. Modeling agency scams lure their victims by advertising in local newspapers to encourage potential models, both men and women, to meet company representatives for group screenings.
After a recent personal incident with what turned out to be a modeling scam, I wanted to address this topic as it’s becoming all to prevalent in our days of social media. My goal is to help you understand the research process in a modeling agency and most importantly, KEEP YOU SAFE! I’ve listed here my Top 5 Tips and Red Flags:
1. Do Your Due Diligence: Head to Google and start researching the potential company that has reached out to you. Add search terms like “reviews” and “scams”. Do the same on Facebook as well. Many modeling scam victims have posted about companies that have scammed them.
2. Get References: Ask for references from current and previous models. If the agency is a legitimate company, they should be more than happy to provide you with this information, as well as sources where the models have worked. If they refuse to give references or direct you to a site with very vague information, this is a red flag.
3. Don’t Pay: Promises like “guaranteed work”, “limited time offer”, or insisting you pay before you get work are high scam alerts! These are tactics to get you to act fast, and if it’s a scam you’ll likely never hear from them again.
4. Be Online Savvy: If you are contacted directly on Facebook, Instagram, or another form of social media, use extra caution with the messages and content. Are there a lot of spelling and grammatical errors? Are they contacting you multiple times? Requesting nude or suggestive photos? This is HIGHLY suggestive of a scam alert. Do not respond! Also, if the company’s website keeps changing, accounts are private, or pictures are posted without any credit as to who the model or photographer is, this is another red flag.
5. Always Buddy-Team: Stay safe! If you have done your due diligence and meet with an agency, never go alone. Always bring a family member or trusted friend with you. Also, let someone else know where you are going. Legitimate professionals will not mind if you bring someone with you.