Modeling agencies scams, Do Not Call Registry update, excellent article on phishing, and more: Internet ScamBusters #98
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By Audri and Jim Lanford
Copyright © Audri and Jim Lanford
All rights reserved.
Today we'll focus on modeling agencies and talent scout scams. We've also included some other Snippets for you, including the latest info on the Do Not Call Registry, an excellent new article on phishing scams, and a website for UK subscribers.
Let's get right to it...
Modeling Agency and Talent Scout Scams
A fellow approaches you (or your daughter) in a mall and says, "I'm sorry, please don't think I'm being too forward... but you are STUNNING. I represent XYZ Modeling School, and you've definitely got the look we've been after. Here's my card..."
Wow... how many young women have dreamed of hearing those very words? Their dream is to be chosen by one of the best modeling agencies.
And the truth is that many great models HAVE been 'discovered' in ordinary places like the local mall.
But chances are very high that this is a scam about modeling agencies or talent scouts.
When you call the guy to set up the appointment he's invited you for, you'll find that things may not be exactly as they seem.
Here are four clues that will help you determine if you're involved in one of the modeling agency scams:
1. First of all, you'll notice that the fellow told you that he was from a school, not an agency. Agencies do hire and pay models, but schools take money to train models.
But you had stars in your eyes from the flattering approach, and didn't even notice!
2. If you go to your 'appointment,' you'll discover that you're now sitting in a waiting room with up to dozens of other 'stunning' young women who apparently also have 'the look' they're after. Even if they don't look anything like YOU! :)
3. Next thing you know, you -- and all those other beauties -- will all be subjected to a slick and seasoned spiel which is actually a huge sales pitch for classes... or for photo shoots... or for 'screen tests.' All of these are probably necessary for a modeling career (so there's the hook) -- and all of them will cost you, the victim, up to several thousand dollars.
(After all, your 'agent' needs a hefty 'commission' for 'discovering' you!)
4. And then, any time after your check clears the bank, your supposed talent scout will magically disappear over the horizon -- along with your dream modeling career... that never got off the ground!
And to make matters worse, a big chunk of change could also disappear from your bank account -- from identity theft!
Action: Here are some ways to avoid getting taken by one of these modeling agency scams:
1. Don't sign anything without taking a blank copy to your lawyer first (and if they refuse to give you one, RUN!).
2. Don't believe the stories about the amazing salaries you're 'guaranteed' to make.
3. Ask for testimonials from former clients who've been successful.
4. Check out the company's background and licenses through your state consumer affairs department, attorney general's office -- and even the local police.
You can show these scammers that your brain works -- just as well as your stunning looks!
Do Not Call Registry
We've been getting a lot of questions about the status of the Do Not Call Registry. Many subscribers have been curious about the outcome since the telemarketing industry has been claiming this Registry is unconstitutional.
Good news! Recently, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal by telemarketers claiming that the Do Not Call Registry violates their free speech rights.
This means consumers can continue to have their names on the government's nationwide Do Not Call Registry to stop many of the unwanted telemarketing calls they receive.
We've personally noticed a sharp drop in telemarketing calls since this law originally went into effect.
For more on the Do Not Call LIst (including how to register online), click here.
Excellent Article on Phishing Scams
Check out this brand new, very interesting article called "Identity thieves' 'phishing' attacks could soon get a lot nastier":
Consumer Site in UK
We're often asked to provide recommendations of useful sites in other countries. Here's a recommendation we received from a subscriber in Great Britain. Looks like a useful site:
Time to wrap up. Have a great week.