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Scam Watch: Trusting Your Instincts

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#1 Jonathan Parker

Jonathan Parker


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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:36 AM

Recently we discovered a scammer who claimed to be from an agency called the 29th Ave W Group. He said that he was recruiting models for an upcoming modeling competition. When we used Google to research the modeling competition and the agency, there were no websites to confirm the legitimacy of the agency or the competition. When we called the phone number he provided, it was an answering service that doubled as a fax, and made no mention of the agency or the competition. Lastly, while the scammer claimed to be from Washington D.C., we later learned that he was actually in Nigeria based on his IP address.

While we often use the Internet or other sources to investigate possible scams, sometimes we're simply able to detect a scam based on our instincts. Perhaps the wording in the email seems suspicious. Or maybe the tone causes us to question the validity of the offer. But for many of us, our instincts can be our best defense in protecting us from both online and offline scams. That being said, it's very important that we trust them.

Last year, the Better Business Bureau received 46 complaints from aspiring models and their parents who had been targeted by A New Concept Modeling and Acting Centre. While many of the victims later said that their instincts told them not to sign with the agency, they still allowed themselves to be pressured into the scam. Some of the allegations against the agency included:

  • Charging models more than $2000 for headshots they never received
  • High-pressure sales tactics
  • Asking models to sign contracts and not providing them with copies of what they had signed
  • Though the agency promised them work, the models didn't receive any calls, auditions or jobs after investing thousands of dollars in the scam.
If you come across an email, newspaper ad, or even a talent scout in the mall and you get a "funny feeling" that something's not right don't be so quick to dismiss it. Had many of the aspiring models targeted by A New Concept Modeling and Acting Centre relied on their instincts, they would have saved themselves a lot of money and a lot of heartache.

For more information about the latest scams and how to avoid them, log in to www.StarSearchCasting.com today and check out our Scam Watch. View the full article

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