Beware of Modeling Scams
Gary: Excuse me... Hi, Gary Laslow, talent scout for Milford Models, Inc. We're looking for new talent, and you have exactly the look we're looking for! Have you ever done any modeling?
Gary: Buddy, I think we can make you a star. What's your name?
Isaac: Um... Isaac?
Gary: Zackster, listen, I don't normally tell people this, but you've got the look. Not just any look, but THE look. Seriously, I can guarantee you'll be among our top models and actors in under 6 months. I'm talking thousands of dollars for the taking. I can just about guarantee it.
Gary: I know what you're thinking, "OK, what's the catch, how much is this going to cost?" NOTHING... compared to the money you'll earn from the modeling and acting jobs we can get you!
Isaac: So how exactly does it work?
Gary: Before we can start promoting you, you'll need to have some headshots taken. Our team will set you up with some of the best photographers and make-up artists in the industry. Once you have a portfolio, we'll send it out, and the calls will start coming in.
Isaac: So, what's this going to cost me?
Gary: Well, there's the photo shoot—but that just about pays for itself when you get your first gig. And you might also want to sign up for our classes if you really want to guarantee the best jobs!
Isaac: Right...so, as I said, how much money is all that going to cost?
Gary: Zack-man! Don't worry about it! With looks like yours, you'll make more money than you know what to do with! Ooh, look at the time! I've got to run. Here's my card. Give the agency a call. I'd hurry if I were you. Space is limited and we've nearly filled all our slots! See you soon, Zackaroon!
Emily: Pah ha ha ha!! PLEASE don't tell me you believe that guy.
Isaac: He said I've got "the look."
Emily: Um... the same look Mama Toni has?
Isaac: GAH! WHAT!?
Emily: Haha! Sorry, "Zackaroon", but I'm pretty sure that's guy's not the best judge of your modeling—um—talent. And besides, I just don't trust him.
Isaac: But what if he is the best judge? I could make THOUSANDS, Emily... THOUSANDS!
Emily: Sorry Isaac, but he's not, and I'm not the only one who can tell you why.
Isaac: What? You think it's a scam too? (sigh) Ok, let's hear your reasons.
The agent was really flattering... but he's saying the exact same things to Mama Toni!
Emily: The model scout singled you out as being special—but then did the same thing to the next person, when they thought you weren't looking. Not so special, is it?
He was pretty vague about the costs.
Emily: All businesses need to make money—the difference here is you probably won't get anything back in return. Headshots, make up artists, and acting classes can get pretty expensive, and who knows if they'll really help you land a job.
He said he could guarantee you work and money, but no job is ever guaranteed, especially modeling and acting.)
Emily: So true. Modeling and acting are tough industries to break into. Scam artists are after your money, and they'll say just about anything to get it—even promises they can't keep.
The agent tried to pressure you into making a decision. He made it sound like you'd miss out if you didn't sign up right away.
Emily: Right. Never let anyone pressure you into buying or signing up for something. Normally, if an offer's good today, it'll be good tomorrow, too.
Emily,—how do YOU know so much about modeling scams?
Isaac: Yeah, Emily, how DO you know so much?
Emily: What? I um... had a friend! Yeah. A friend of mine fell for one of these scams. What? You think I could fall for this stuff? Come on guys!
Isaac: Hahaha... riiiiight. A "friend." I can't believe you're acting like little Miss Know-it-all when you fell for the exact same thing!
Emily: Ok, fine! It was me. But I was young! I was naïve! The guy sounded really convincing!
Isaac: So did this guy!
Emily: It was an embarrassing time in my life.
If you or someone you know has experienced a scam like this, you can report it at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
Isaac: You also can tell the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org, or contact your state Attorney General. You can find their phone number at naag.org.
Emily: Well, I think everyone learned a good lesson here.
Isaac: Yeah, that Emily falls for scams too!
Emily: Hey! YOU were the one striking model poses. Anyway, after seeing and hearing about our mistakes, I hope you've learned how to identify and avoid scams like this one.
Isaac: I still think I've got "the look."