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Scammer Tips Part 2

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

By Rachael Lovette

Could you really be a model or actor? Or maybe it’s your kids that have the right look? If a talent scout, photographer, or other strangers says you’ve got a future in the business -- be flattered, then be skeptical. You never know when or if you could be the target of a scam.


Red Flags

  • You have to use a specific photographer

  • You have to pay a fee to them to serve as your agent before they’ll do any work on your behalf

  • Only accept payment in cash or money order

  • Talk about big salaries and opportunities

  • Unsolicited contact via direct message asking for photos, videos, or personal information on you to send you more details about a casting

  • Come from Model Mayhem (it has been reported that models have gone missing and have been sexually assaulted at photoshoots or events site up through this site)

  • Ask you to come alone

  • Ask you to meet in an unfamiliar area

  • The modeling school has a special referral relationship with a specific model agency

  • Offer to “overpay” you and you reimburse the rest of the team

What to Do

  • Check out the business or individual online with the word “scam,” “rip-off,” or “complaint” to get real personal insight

  • Get references to confirm the credibility of the agent, photographer, or team

  • Get everything in writing including spoken promises, assurances and expectations and confirm that all parties have a copy and thoroughly read it before signing

  • Ask questions such as: the overall vision of the photoshoot or event, how long they’ve been doing it for, if there will be a safe place to change and store your personal belongings

  • Whether they are dropping you off or hanging out behind the scenes it's good to bring a buddy for an added layer of protection in case something goes wrong

  • Ask to meet up ahead of time in a public place with lots of people to discuss the finer details, review the contract, etc.

  • Ask your local Better Business Bureau, consumer protection agency and state Attorney General if there are any unresolved consumer complaints on file about the company.


Red Flags

  • Company using a personal Gmail account

  • Gives out way too much information or too little information on the project

  • Ask for personal information such as full name, address, etc.

  • Not having an actual date in mind or changing the date based on your schedule

  • Insisting on paying by credit card

  • Not using your first name or studio name

  • Asking to pay you through an uncommon portal because their PayPal or Venmo accounts have been “froze”

  • Having some sort of strange situation that prevents them from meeting locally or talking on the phone

  • Ask you to do a photoshoot that isn’t really your specialty

What to Do

  • Ask for details about the job they’re offering

  • Never give out ANY personal information beyond your first name

  • Never agree to pay another vendor with money from your account

  • Verify that person is really offering you a job by looking up the company online, finding the contact information for the person and calling them directly to see if it matches

  • Research and investigate the company online using: This site will provide you with details on when the domain was registered, created and last updated

  • Make them sign your own model release form

Rachael Lovette is the Digital Director at Flower Bomb Media with a passion for everything K-Pop, fashion, model advocacy, and pop culture. Make sure you follow her on Instagram as she journeys through the fashion industry from behind the lens.

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