It’s unfortunate, but not every modeling gig you are offered will be legitimate. Of course, no one wants to get scammed. Still, the possibility of a modeling scam is very high, especially if you are a new model who doesn’t know how to spot a fraudulent job offer. You want to protect yourself, and start your modeling career out successfully with real gigs. So, in this post, we’ll teach you how to spot modeling scams. Our tips should keep you safe and keep you aware of any warning signs.
Top Ways to Spot Modeling Scams:
1. The Job Description is Not Specific and Offers a Lot of Money
Usually, when casting directors and agencies are looking for modeling talent, they want a specific look and have a certain age group in mind. In truth, modeling jobs won’t have a wide age range, and they will probably ask for a specific look or ethnicity. So, if you see a job posting, or get messaged about a job, for people of any age or any racial group, it is likely a modeling scam. Again, industry professionals know what they are looking for and won’t waste time casting random people. Furthermore, if the pay listed for the job is extremely high, you are also being scammed. Especially if the listing says you don’t need experience or can be new to modeling!
2. Look Out for Fishy DMs
In some cases, you might get a legitimate message from an agent who wants to work with you. In fact, many models get contacted through Facebook or Instagram and will be offered a job or casting. However, exercise caution when responding to any direct messages online. Really, there are some definite warning signs you can be on the lookout for. For instance, if a message asks you to send revealing pictures of yourself, you are being scammed. Most modeling agencies will ask for headshots first, not naked photos. In addition, anyone asking for money to be sent is trying to scam you. So block these individuals right away!
Other warning signs to look out for include grammatically incorrect messages. And any grandiose claims in a message. If someone says they will help you meet top photographers and designers they are probably trying to scam you!
3. You Can’t Find Information on an Agency or an Agent
You always want to do your research when you are offered a contract. It can be tempting to take an offer right away. New models are desperate for jobs after all. But, this approach can be extremely dangerous to you. So, make sure to do a thorough online search when modeling agencies or individuals approach you for work or a contract. If you cannot find a website for an agency, or can’t find legitimate information about the individuals trying to work with you, you are likely being scammed. Professionals will have information available for potential models. And you should be able to find reviews for modeling agencies online. If none of this information is searchable it is best to cut your losses!
In addition, if you do find information online but it seems suspicious, or seem like there is not enough information to substantiate their claims, then skip out on the job.
4. An Agency Rushes You Into Signing a Contract
If an agent insists that you should sign their contract right away, you are probably being scammed. Legitimate modeling agencies give their models time to review their contracts and make sure the terms are fair. In fact, most real modeling companies will suggest going over the contract with a lawyer. So, if you are being rushed into a contract, and are not given terms that benefit you as a model, don’t sign and leave. You are being scammed!
5. You are Asked to Pay Money or Give Out Sensitive Information
We talked about this briefly at the beginning of the article, but you need to be aware of this particular scam aimed at models. Most modeling scams are attempts to take money from you or to mine information. If anyone asks you for money, always say no. No legitimate job or modeling agency will ask you for large sums of money. Whether you meet someone online or in-person if they require money to give you a job you are being scammed! And, if you are asked to do a background check, or are asked to give banking information or other personal information you are likely getting scammed.
Especially if you are being asked to provide this information upfront without a meeting. Some scammers will send you links to get you to give this information up. Do not click any links. A real agent will not ask for background checks or ask for your banking details!
6. An Agent Wants to Meet You Alone in a Private Place
Modeling scams can be a detriment to both your career and your safety. Not only will you not be paid for your work, but you can also be introduced to dangerous situations and individuals. So, you must know the signs of a scam before you are hurt, or worse killed. Many models have gone missing, through online modeling jobs. They trusted the people messaging them and met them without doing research and without taking any precautions. It is sad to think about it, but some people will want to harm you and trick you. So you need to stay alert. Be wary of people who want to meet you alone, and who don’t want to meet in a public place. If someone asks you to do a modeling job in a remote area without other people around, not only are you being scammed, but you could be in danger.
Again, it is not uncommon for models to go missing. So, if someone keeps insisting that you meet them by yourself stay away from them. Real modeling agencies and casting directors won’t mind if you bring along a friend, a parent, or a family member to escort you. And, if you already have an agent, have them sort out job offers to see if they are legitimate. They will be able to better spot dangerous situations like this.