“An authentic agency is always very careful to guarantee they’d get you work. What most of them say is that they’d try their best to get you jobs and it also depends on your performance and market”.
The modeling industry like any other is filled with different scam techniques. Perhaps the industry has a larger frequency of scams than other industries. Having experienced and nearly succumbed to some modeling scams myself.
I have spoken to several people who have gotten scammed in the industry. You’d be surprised that the industry is built on little to no integrity most especially in Nigeria.
It’s almost natural, as a naïve newcomer for you to experience some of the modeling scams. However, how well you can detect and evade these scams can be the deciding point for your career as a model.
in what sense you may ask, several people have given up on their careers as models because of unpleasant scam experiences in the industry.
To be honest, being on the receiving end of a scam can diminish one’s ginger (motivation). It can make you really give up on the industry even though your breakthrough might have just been around the corner.
The funniest thing is scams come in so many ways in the modeling industry. It has eaten so deep that many see it as a natural occurrence in Nigeria. Some call it “paying your dues”.
I will highlight some tactics that are commonly used to scam models in the industry.
Bait And Switch
Imagine you are online, maybe on Facebook and something catches your attention. What looks like an agency is making big promises, saying you’d become a supermodel. Finally, it seems like your dreams are about to come true. So you go for the casting and find yourself in the middle of something totally different from what you were initially promised. They have baited you and completely switched out on you! However, they’re still making promises, you are being told you only have to pay for this and that. “Scam Alert!!” You’re being scammed. If you go for any meeting or casting and it has turned out different from what was promised you need to leave, otherwise they’d keep on making promises.
These are some of the commonly used lines.
You have to pay a fee to them first before they do any work.
The best course of action at this point is to turn back and flee. Flee because if you’re still having second thoughts they will talk you into doing what they actually want. And believe me they’re very sweet talkers.
You have to use a specific photographer
There are different ways to approach this. Sometimes it could be because the agency trusts only that photographer to give them the desired look. If it’s a big and reputable agency you may as well cave, you have nothing to lose really. But be careful though, if you’re being asked to pay with your money, you may want to rethink it.
The best thing to do in such a situation is to simply ask to come back for the shoot. Then you conduct your investigations. You can meetup with some of their models to ask them about the process they went through and all. From the information you gather, you should be able to know if it’s worth it or not.
What most genuine agencies, especially the big ones do is they pay for your shoots, make most big decisions for you and some will even pay for your modeling classes (sadly, I don’t think any modeling agency in Nigeria does this). Then after your first job, they would make the necessary deductions.
You’re told the offer expires soon.
Some of these con artists are the best marketers around, they’ll create scarcity of time and if you’re not careful you could be pressured into making hasty decisions.
The best way to approach this is to simply ask to check back. If they insist that the offer ends that very moment, then there’s a 99% possibility of it being a SCAM. What you need to do is look them in the eye, raise an eyebrow, dramatically pack your kits and leave! I am not even kidding!
On the other hand, if you are given time, check their website (at this age an era, if any agency doesn’t have a website or a reliable social media account it uses to inform the general public and models, then they’re con artists! I don’t want to hear story!). When checking try to track down the beginning of the so called discount. Also try to meet people that have participated in the discount and ask for their opinions, chances are that the agency will showcase them as testimonials on their site.
They promise you fame and guarantee you’d get work
An authentic agency is always very careful to guarantee they’d get you work. What most of them say is that they’d try their best to get you jobs and it also depends on your performance and market. Be careful though, any agency that doesnt get you work for six months is not the agency for you and you should leave.
However, if an agency starts making big promises and promising you fame beyond your imagination then you’re being baited. This is one the most commonly used lines and way too many people have fallen for it. After-all, who doesn’t want to become a celebrity and appear on the front cover of the most exclusive magazines?
As a model, what forms of scams have you experienced in the modeling industry? Drop a comment below, let’s have a chat and discuss how we can evade such scams.
P.S. Watch out for the Part 2 of this post next week Friday!
Makeup by B.E.A.U.T.I.F.I.E.D