The Better Business Bureau is warning about scams that target people who want to become models or parents who want their children to book modeling or acting work.
The Better Business Bureau says they received 2,000 complaints in the last three years from people who feel they were misled by an agency into paying large upfront fees, often for head shots and portfolios, and received little or no modeling or acting work in return.
“Modeling can be a great way to supplement your income, but signing up with a deceptive talent agency can be a waste of time and money or, in the worst case scenario, put you in physical danger,” said Alison Southwick, BBB spokesperson. “Even if the agency tells you that you have ‘the look’, always take the time to do your research and don’t fall for empty promises.”
The Better Business Bureau recommends the following:
-Do your research – Always check the company out with your Better Business Bureau. Some states may require a talent agency or modeling school to be licensed and bonded; confirm the company meets those requirements if applicable.
-Beware of big promises and high pressure sales pitches – In the modeling world, income is never guaranteed and jobs can be sporadic. Consider it a red flag if the sales pitch promises a lot of jobs and big earnings or uses high pressure tactics to get you to sign up without thinking it through first.
-Read the fine print and get everything in writing – Take your time and read the agreement or contract carefully, paying close attention to details regarding refunds and your recourse if you are dissatisfied. Make sure that all verbal promises are in the agreement.
-Get references – Ask for references from other satisfied clients who have a similar background and qualifications.
-Complain if you’ve been ripped off – If you feel you’ve been misled by a talent or modeling agency, file a complaint with your BBB, State Attorney General and the FTC.