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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Modeling Agencies Scam

Recently I noticed an increase in so-called Modeling Agencies that are not only phony, but outright rip-offs and wanted to write an article in the hopes to help aspiring models identify modeling agencies and scouts that are legitimate and separate them from multiple ones that are not.

First thing you should know when you are approached a model agency is that it is very rare that a professional modeling agency will seek to acquire customers via the Internet web sites. Legitimate agencies receive hundreds and thousands of submissions every day via both e-mail and snail mail and they don't have the time and resources to chase down wannabe models on the Internet or MySpace.

It is uncommon that a scout will approach a model on the street, but it has happened and has lead some individuals to a legitimate modeling career.

Things you want to check when approached by a modeling agency are following:

Talent Agency Licence - Not all states require a license to do business as a modeling agency, but here are some that do: California, Florida, Texas.

In California, the agency that governs talent agencies is California Department of Industrial Relations. You may check the status of a talent agency's license here

In Florida, the government agency in charge of talent agency licinsing is Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which can be found here

In Texas, you may check license status here at the Department of Licensing and Regulation.

If you are located in NYC, check with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. Their web site can be found here

If you are not an agency represented model who is offered a contract, have your lawyer review any documents including the contract, non-disclosure agreement and any other documents you may be required to sign.

Never pay an agency for building a modeling portfolio, set up and processing fees, or any other upfront costs. Those agencies that charge upfront costs do not make money from finding models jobs. They make money selling expensive portfolios and charging various fees.

Always be wary of the scammy so-called agencies that do not disclose the nature of the assignment until you sign a binding contract with them. There are many agencies utilizing wannabe models for the adult industry. If you are offered several thousand dollar contract over the Internet and it is not a Nigerian scam, it is most likely an offer to act in a porn video.