A Top model agency wants to sign me. They are charging me $200. Should I sign?

No! It's supposed to be FREE!

A model agency says you need new photos. They recommed that you work with only their photographer. It will cost $500. Is it worth it?

No! They are not a real agency!

A modeling school can train me to become a model. It costs $2,000 plus. Should I do it?

No! You don't need to go to modeling school to become a model!!!

A Casting Director is offering you a chance to audition for a famous brand. It only costs $10. Should you do it?

No. Auditions are supposed to be FREE!!!

modeling scam alert watch out for model scamsThere are so many model scams out there that we seriously lost count.

From simple scams that charges you $50 dollars for modeling jobs, to fully decorated fake photo studios, to internet scams that send you a fake check so that you would transfer your own money to them, there is no shortage of scams out there.

How do Scam and Con Artists survive and constantly make money off of people?

Scams prey on people’s hopes and dreams of becoming rich and famous.

scam artist logo modeling scams

They should be ashamed of themselves and yet, they find new ways to trick beginning models.

They are successful because

the Modeling and Acting industry is non-conventional

The entertainment industry don’t have the same official rules compared to a traditional profession like law. If someone came up to you and told you that with a small fee, you could become a lawyer and start booking clients and cases, would you believe him???

On the surface it may seem new models drop out due to financial losses from the scam. But when you look at the emotional trauma new models go through, scam artists leave a deeper scar than you’ll think.

feeling blue depression from modeling scams

Once the dust settles and the model finds out that he/she made an unwise financial investment, does not have the appropriate portfolio that was promised, will not be booking the job or contract with a top agency, will not catch their big break, and will have to start from zero again, it shatters all their hopes and dreams in an instant and takes an emotional and sometime unrecoverable toll.

There are so many things that scam artists say and do to loosen your purse/wallet. Some even rent fake office buildings and decorate their offices to appear professional and legitimate.

Here are some of the top quotes that we have personally experienced and heard.


You Are Gorgeous! Wow! What a Beautiful Portfolio!

Heart Eyes emoji face love modeling scam artist

LOL, wow, you don’t get out much huh?

Of all our years working with Top 10 and other reputable modeling agencies, the nicest thing that our agents have ever said about our photos were, “This one is fine, you may keep it for your book.”  or “It’s good”, and that would be the end of the compliment.

Roll back the red carpet… 🙁

Does that mean agents are heartless people with no social skills?

Absolutely not.

Reputable agencies are used to representing good looking and talented people

and they spent everyday looking at excellent photos of people.

singapore top modeling agency board

One of the top model agencies that we work with in Singapore (above) is so used to seeing professional photos that nothing impress them. They wouldn’t even congratulate you if you got a magazine cover. They expect nothing less.      

Real professionals will never flatter you and give you over-the-top compliments. It is expected that your portfolio is “gorgeous.”

Scam artists on the other hand, know that people liked to be flattered and will go to great lengths to stroke your ego.

After all, we tend to like people who make us feel good, blinding us from their lies.


You Should work with ONLY Our Photographer!

cartoon camera clipart photographer modeling

Another famous quote from scam artists.

We usually like to counter this statement with, “But I thought you said our photos were beautiful! Why do we need to work with your and ONLY your photographer?

To which they would likely pause for a second and answer, “Yes, your photos are beautiful. But… our photographer is the best and is having a sale…” or “Yes, your photos are beautiful But you could always have more…” or our personal favorite:

“Yes your photos are beautiful but we must standardize our photos for submission to projects.”

Wait…. Wait… Wait…

Why does it have to be standardized? You are not a casting office. This is not a casting for a project. If what you are doing is a casting, then the photos, or digitals, are supposed to be FREE!!!!

funny cute squirrel Photographer modeling scamsIf a person is trying really hard to push their photographer to you, especially when there is only one or two that they “highly recommend“, it’s a good bet that they are trying to scam you. They take a commission from the money that you give the photographer.

It’s even more ridiculous when you already have perfectly marketable photos.

Why is this so bad?

A person who is interested in making money from your photos is NOT interested in putting in the effort to work with you.

They have already made their money, why should they spend any more time on you?


 We can get you on a Magazine/Poster/Billboard!

billboard with yoour name fame modeling scams

If someone says that they could get you on a billboard, would you believe them?

Even if you were skeptical, part of you really would like to believe them.

Because hey, they are offering the chance to make your dreams come true. Why not believe them? Especially after they have already boosted your ego by telling you how attractive you are.

Truth is, a reputable modeling agency has no power to put you on a billboard, a poster, or a magazine. Not even the casting director working on the project has that kind of power. Only the designer or client who is paying for the project has that power. But they have to had met you first. They have to had seen your casting photos, your portfolio, and had gone through a tough selection process to finally arrive at you. Needless to say,

there are a lot of variables that go into selecting you as their cover model.

approvals from modeling professional to book a model projectYou usually have to receive approval from the agent, casting director, production, and client to book a project of that caliber.  If anyone promises you or even says that they can achieve that, they are amateurs who do not know the modeling business.

Scam Quote #4

No Experience Needed!

no experience necessary graduation diploma and hat modeling scam

This scam quote is our favorite because people who truly understand the industry will find this statement hilarious.

Suppose you are a new designer who has a minimal budget of say $200 reserved for a model to market your clothing line. You understand that the rate is rather low, but still hold a casting session in the hopes of finding the best model that money can buy.

Will you advertise the casting as “Looking for a model- No Experience Needed” ? or try to actually charge the model to attend the casting?

Let’s switch scenarios. Now you are a famous brand of clothing line and have a budget of at least $5,000 reserved to book the model.

We’ll ask the same question again, will you advertise your casting as “no Experience Needed!” ?

model me t-shirt modeling scam joke

You can understand how silly it is to find a professional project or gig that requires no experience.

Even people who are willing to give new models a try and have no budget, will still not advertise “No experience” because they are always looking to find the best models they can find.

Scam artists know that there are a lot of beginner models out there and use this phrase to capture their attention.

We are not saying that ALL modeling projects that don’t require experience are bad projects or don’t exist. Just use your common sense and keep an eye out. You may find a gig that allows you to gain some valuable experience- just don’t expect to be well compensated for your work. (Almost all these compensations are in the form of TFP-Trade for Print- photos for your portfolio)

Check out the Getting Started Section to find out how to start building your portfolio.

Scam Quote #5

We need All Model Types in this Casting

body types they need all in this casting modeling scam

This statement is in the grey area because it is vague.

It is rare, but not impossible, to find a casting looking for all types (old, young, ethnic, various body types, etc.) in one project.

Even extra work usually casts similar types of people. But if it’s really extra work that they are submitting you for, why are you even working with them? Furthermore, with the creative team, the client usually has a good idea of at least what types of people they are looking for. It is therefore, rare to find a reputable project that span the entire spectrum looking for all talents/models.

all female body types figures breaking into modeling

Scam artists use this statement to attract various people to contact them.

Reason being that if you see a casting that is looking for “All Types“, you get your hopes up and are more willing to believe them since you have a better chance at booking the job.

In conclusion, if there are upfront costs in anyway, it’s most likely a scam.

The cool thing about the modeling industry is that agencies don’t make money until you do.

So it makes absolutely no sense to pay anyone before you first get paid.  Even legitimate agencies that charges models for training and modeling materials (comp cards & website fees), will deduct it from the model’s first pay check.  

When in doubt, use your common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more stories and other ways to avoid scams, please subscribe to our Free newsletter.

That’s it for now. Stay safe out there and let us know if you have any questions!

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