If something seems too good to be true.....well it usually is. It's important to keep in mind that there are a lot of acting and modeling scams in New York and LA. One of the most common techniques used by scam artists is the bait-and-switch method. You may come across an advertisement with the enticing words “Paid gigs for actors and models, no experience necessary!” As soon as you show up, the “casting directors” don’t seem to show any interest in your background or skills. Instead, they go on and on about how great you look and how much money you’ll make.
Here are a few tips to avoid potentially talent or modeling scams:
1. You show up to their audition and they ask you to sign up immediately regardless of your experience, then this is a red flag. Question their motives when they start asking for money as well. This only means that they are interested with what is in your pocket more than your career.Never let flattering words come in the way of logical thinking. Think carefully about how you were approached and what could be their motives before putting anything on paper.
2. If you show any hesitation about paying a scammer the requested fee or deposit, you are aggressively told that you don’t have what it takes to make it in the industry. In one disturbing case, a man was scammed to do a pornographic project by an agency. After backing out from the deal, the talent agent stalked the man and wouldn’t leave him alone. It was only when he finally threatened to call the cops that the scammer finally left.
3. Do not hesitate to ask for names, addresses, and phone numbers of talents who have gotten recent work with the company. If they name-drop companies they work with, get their contacts to verify if they’ve hired talents from the agency you’re applying for.
4. If you think you’ve been scammed or encountered a fake agency, immediately contact your local consumer protection agency, state attorney general, or the Better Business Bureau.
Remember never sign any paperwork, without having a lawyer look it over. Never give out your social security number or credit card information. Finally, be safe and always have your guard up.
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