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Webster.com defines 'Scam' as   a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. How can you avoid common scams? How can You recognize the difference between a failed service and a service made to scam you? Below you will find some resources we found as we scanned the internet. No matter who you decide to use to help you with your dream remember to ask yourself the hard questions.
According to modelingscams.org  "Most modeling scams happen before the aspiring model gets work. Probably 99% of the scams are from up front fees which do not lead to modeling jobs. These include payments for registration, modeling photos, modeling schools, and modeling conventions. The 1% of the scams which happen after the model works are, for example, when the agency does not  pay the model the amount due according to the model contract or pays very late."
Legitimate agencies make their money by taking a percentage from models and clients off the work they book. As a standard - many agencies take 20% from the model (commission) and another 20% from the client (agency fee). Meaning, if they book you for a full day for $1,000, they actually will bill the client $1,200. When the model gets his/her check, it will be for $800 and the agency's profit is $400. That is how an agency makes their money!

First and foremost, realize that agencies are a Monday-Friday, 9-5pm business. If you are contacted to attend an "Open Call" or "Talent Review" make sure it's between these hours. Be very suspicious if they ask you to come in later in the evening or a weekend. Legitimate agencies don't do weekends!

Top 10 Warning Signs
  1. Unsatisfactory record at the Better Business Bureau
  3. Up front fees
  5. Guaranteed work
  7. No website / Bad Website
  9. Online portfolio not free
  11. Late payments for completed work
  13. Claimed/implied affiliation with celebrities or started the career(s)of supermodel(s)
  15. Office  not professional or address is only a PO Box number, not a street address
  17. Company makes profit even if models get no work
  19. Most work the agency gets is for events ("promotional"), not print, not editorial, not commercial, not fashion

Other Resources

  1. The United States Federal Trade Commission offers some great advice. Download their guide here.
  3. The Better Business Bureau Offers some great advice here.
Our advice is to always question something you don't understand and never put yourself in a situation where you feel forced to do or pay something you don't want to.
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