With the holidays, we are seeing a rash of social media posts from scams pretending to be "agencies."
Some of these are a part of a nationwide scam effort, while others are homegrown here in Indiana.
The scam, whether national or local, are similar flavors of the same phony pitch:
1. They tell you that they want to "teach" you something. They might call it "boot camp", "model camp", or something similar. Not only is what they want to "teach" useless to you, they are also not qualified to teach.
2. They want to put you in front of "talent scouts" or the like from Hollywood, New York, etc.
3. They post every 3 days that they're staffing another new TV commercial, print job, photo/video shoot, or some other scam job. One local scammer in particular picks very large companies, who have no presence in Indiana (they don't do anything here), to pretend they are working for them "on set." They never actually show you proof of the job (because there isn't one.) Even we don't book work every 3 days. It's all a scam to get you to pay them money to be a part of their scam "agency."
4. They pretend to be "associated" with models & agencies in cities all over America. Nonsense. There is an old saying in the modeling industry and it is as true today as it was 50+ years ago: "All Modeling is Local." Agencies can only help those who are local to them and only in work local to them. If a scammer is telling you they want to be your "mother agency" and get you work, or "placed", in other cities, RUN. You're being scammed. The scam will usually include teasers like "national", "international", "worldwide", etc. They want to look like they're successful so you will pay them money.
5. They scour the Internet, looking for images that will help them, and then shamelessly post the work of others and vaguely claim to have been a part of it. They had nothing to do with it, and likely don't even know the ones who did the work, but.....they know you won't know that. Yet another attempt to make it look like they're doing something so you'll foolishly give them your money.
6. They post that they were somehow involved with a model being "published" in a magazine (or similar) publication. Only one problem: the magazine doesn't really exist and no one made a dime. It's all just another variation of the scam to look like they're doing something.
The Internet has made it so easy for these scams to thrive and there will never be a shortage of wide-eyed, would-be star "models" out there who so very easily fall for the scams. The warning signs are there......you have to be willing to slow down long-enough to see them.