Everyone gets those crazy emails, send us $1000 and we will send you $1,000,000! I thought, who would fall for these scams now-a-days!? Well some scams can seem more convincing than others. And recently I know too many people getting scammed.
Models get scammed all the time. By agents, photographers, casting. It happens all the time without many even suspecting anything wrong.
Could you spot the scam?
- So you wanted photos to update your portfolio. The photographer did that for you and got you some great shots all for free! You go on your happy way with these new updated great looking shots.
- The Problem; sometimes photographers will sell your photo to various publications without telling you or asking your permission. Your test photo could show up on an ad promoting something you are against and disagree with. Your photo could be sold for some money that would be rightfully yours.
- How to avoid ; Type up a simple waiver stating that these photos are only to be used for portfolio purposes unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by both parties involved. Have the photographer sign it.
- You don’t have an agent but you went on a casting and booked the job! The casting person tells you the job pays $1000! Your happy and excited to shoot!
- The Problem; If you don’t get a contract directly from whomever is actually hiring you (the client), you can’t be sure if the casting director isn’t pocketing some of that money that was meant for you. Sometimes casting will act as an Agent for a non represented person. Therefore they might be taking an agency fee from your pay.
- How to avoid; Ask the casting director to have the company hiring you to send a offical contract with all the details and payment stated. If they don’t do that, at least make sure there is some thing they can sign to prove you will be paid for your work. If it’s a written up form only by the casting they may be mis-representing themselves. But you don’t want to lose the job. So say OK and go and do the job. Once on set, ask the person in charge for a copy of their original contract between you and the company. Ask them if the casting director is acting as your agent. If the casting is acting as your agent without your permission they are most likely taking more than 20% of your earnings without your permission. Confront the casting directly. Most modeling agencies take a 20% cut from your earings and receive a 20% finders fee from the client for each job in the U.S. For TV acting/commercial work it’s usually 10%.
- You have an agent and they call you to book you on jobs. You went and worked on the jobs. Your agent sent you a check in the mail. You are happy.
- The Problem; Some agencies tell their models the job is one price when it’s not true.
- How to avoid; Be as thorough as possible. Make sure they tell you exactly how much the job is, how much they will be taking out (10%~20%) and how much you are due. Ask for a copy of all contracts and keep them for your records.
Of course sometimes there are misunderstandings or exceptions.Maybe it’s not a scam. It’s best to keep an open mind and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But it’s always good to be organized and communicate clearly in order to get the best information and reduce your risk of being scammed.
My friend just the other day was scammed by one of those emails. This email was very good. Her friends email was hacked and sent her a letter saying him and his family went on a trip to Spain and got robbed. They had nothing left on them and needed some money to get back home. WIthout thinking she sent them money.
An old lady living by herself got a phone call from the hospital saying her son got hit by a car, was unconscious and had nothing on him except her number. They needed money in order to operate or he would die. She immediately sent them money.
There are scams everywhere. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s the scam. The best you can do is ask around before committing. If you get an emergency call about someone you know, once you hang up the phone try to call that person and/or someone who might be directly in contact with them (wife, girlfriend, best friend, another family member) to find out if it’s true. For the most part nothing needs to be done within the minute! Even if someone is dying at the hospital, the hospital won’t let them die because you didn’t deposit money to them this very minute.
If you are someone on the other end of things and are being put under suspicion, think what your part is. communicate in a calm manner the entire situation and how you see it’s supposed to work. Tell the full truth without aggression and there will be no suspicion. In today society with so many scams, everyone need to communicate fully and not vaguely or for good reason, you may be labeled a con.