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  • Writer's pictureMonika Szmidt

Are you the next supermodel? How to avoid modelling scums?

It is difficult to ignore flattery, especially where our children are concerned, but if a model agency we know nothing about tells us that we are the next supermodel or our child is model material, is it a compliment or deception?

Beauty Head Shoot by Monika Szmidt Photography

It's very common these days that you receive comments or messages on social media complementing your appearance or even asking if you are a professional model. If someone contacts you and offers a photoshoot or asks you to send some photos, please be very careful.

It is very unusual for models to be approached via social media. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are commonly used by scammers, not legitimate agencies.

Look at what they are saying, if they use sordid terms of endearment (e.g. “babe”, “hun”) or use inappropriate/excessive flattery (e.g. “You’re so sexy”) this is a red flag.

Ask them for their full name and who they work for.

Scammers are usually hesitant to the point of rudeness. They may refuse to give their information and say something like “if you don’t believe me, that’s not my problem. I can find another model easily.” A scammer may also say there is a strict time limit so they need your information/photos ASAP. Never let yourself feel pressured into doing something you are unsure of.

If you get all the details, next you need to find out whether the person in contact with you actually works for a real agency. This is easy enough to discover; research the legitimate agency online and contact them via the telephone number listed on their official website. Never use a phone or e-mail given to you by the person you are researching; they may be fake.

Some people may say they work for an agency that is actually a scam agency. If you can’t find much information about an agency online, and if you feel concerned that they might not be legitimate, it is better to avoid them.

Boudoir Photo Shoot by Monika Szmidt Photography

How to check the Modelling Agency?

My friend proud mum of a beautiful girl always had people coming up to her in the street saying how good-looking her daughter is. After so many compliments, she decided to search for child modelling agencies to try and get her daughter's foot in the modelling world.

She typed in a google search ''child modelling agency'' and she decided to go with the first one on the top of the page, she thought that must be one of the best if it was on the top.

Unfortunately, that was a very bad choice.

She filled out some forms and send photos of her daughter and on the same day she had a phone call with the good news that her daughter was chosen for a test photoshoot in a few days. She just had to pay a £50 deposit to secure the place. Of course, later she found that she need to pay a membership fee to be represented by this agency and more money for some extra photos. And guess what she never received any invitation for casting or get offered any modelling job.

Some agencies may appear “legitimate”, but they may be using this as a money-making ruse or they may treat their models badly.

If an agency asks for payment upfront, avoid them. No proper agency will ever ask for money. Agencies make their money by taking a cut of the model’s paycheque when they get a modelling job. You should not have to pay for modelling or dance lessons, nor should you have to pay for a portfolio or a membership fee.

Try to talk to some other models who are signed by the agency and ask them what the agency is like to work with. Reviews will help you decide whether the agency is the right fit for you.

Research the company. Try searching online for the modelling school or agency’s name with words like “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.”

Don’t deal with a modelling program that tells you how you have to pay. If a modelling program or school requires certain kinds of payments — cash, money order, gift cards, wire transfers through a company like MoneyGram or Western Union, or cryptocurrency — that’s a sure sign it’s only interested in your money and not your modelling career.

If you are a minor, you MUST have a parent or guardian’s permission to model. If someone is approaching you online promising modelling opportunities, tell your parent or guardian immediately. By law, a young model must have their responsible guardian’s consent to the model. They must also be present at any castings or interviews.

Beauty Head Shoot By Monika Szmidt Photography

What to Do if You Paid a Scammer

Scammers often ask you to pay in ways that make it tough to get your money back. No matter how you paid a scammer, the sooner you act, the better. Learn more

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