Bogus Talent Agency Scams

Bogus Talent Agency Scams

The Scam and a plausible scenario:

Without a doubt, there are many bogus talent or model agencies out there that advertise that they seek children to appear in TV commercials and magazines. You may sometimes see their ads promoted on television, radio, by newspaper, direct mail or the internet.

These companies lead you to believe that they have created more stars than any other agency out there and that their clients have appeared in commercials or national advertising campaigns.

Hoping to make your child a star, you respond to their ad by calling the number they have listed. They tell you that for a prepaid fee you will receive something called a “screen test” in order to determine whether your child will be one of the few selected people to obtain paid work as an actor or model.

After the “screen test” the talent director, who claims to have many years of professional experience in talent evaluation, fills out a form printed on a letterhead from the American Child Actor and Modeling Association. They will then show you that your child has passed the screen test and that you can begin to earn money right away.

Here is where the real scam comes into play. He/She will then pressure you to spend an exorbitant amount amount of money (sometimes as much as $1000 or more) in order to enroll in an “agency introduction program.” They will claim will go towards the types of photographs your child really needs in order to interest agents or casting directors and that it will eventually help find your child agency representation.

You decide to take the hit to your wallet and what happens…? Nothing. You soon realize that you have been conned and that the agency was completely bogus.

How to Protect Yourself

Protecting yourself against such a scam is simple. If you with to get a real evaluation for your child then do the research yourself. Look for a reputable agency that has been around for a while. You might have to shell out some cash to get some professional head-shots taken but there is no reason to pay thousands of dollars for anything else. As long as you’re cautious you’ll be fine.