A Con That's in Fashion: Beware Fake Modeling Agencies - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

A Con That's in Fashion: Beware Fake Modeling Agencies

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Some young women dream of becoming a famous fashion model, gracing the cover of magazines and catalogs and living the glamorous life.

But fake modeling agencies are luring victims into their web of deceit by promising stardom and giving nothing in return but broken dreams and a slimmer wallet.

"The modeling agency sent this young girl an email stating that she could start modeling classes which could help her start modeling professionally," Lori McCallister, U.S. Postal Inspector said.

In the email, the girl was asked for her weight, size and three photographs.

"She received a check for $2500," McCallister said. "They said all she had to do was pay the royalties and the taxes on that check and that would help her get introduced into the modeling agency."

The problem: postal inspectors found it was a fraud.

"This was a counterfeit check and thankfully the mother realized her daughter was being scammed," McCallister said.

Investigators say this reflects an alarming trend.

"It shows now that the suspects and people committing these crimes are not only going after elderly victims, which was our typical victim for quite some years, they are now going after college students and even younger potentially," McCallister warned.

Con-artists are often trolling to see who is visiting various websites and then target them with  a scam.

"If you have a passion for anything, you should be the one that is reaching out to these types of schools," McCallister said. "Whether it is modeling school, art school, or anything like that you should be the one looking online requesting further information."

The Better Business Bureau says one of the quickest ways to weed out unreliable modeling agencies is to ask for proof of success.

A reputable agency will be more than willing to give contact information for successful models and companies that have hired its models.
   

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