Why I nearly got caught out by a scam modelling agency.
Sorry I've been so totally absent, I have created a clothing brand and my focus kind of switched. I'm back now though.
So odd title I suppose. I had a situation on Twitter last week, well it wasn't so much a situation but I still thought I would tell you about it.
I was approached via Twitter DM by a modelling company, saying they want to represent me. Well let me put this straight early on. I have never wanted to become a model, I've never really thought about it but when I was approached I thought it would go great alongside the blog. I would see all the newest trends and be representing the companies I've always wanted to work with.
So yeah great, I responded. I was asked to fill in an application form, I'd like to add I was digging very deep but getting no catch from the guy so I thought I would carry on. So form filled out, whatever. Next day I got a call which I missed (I never answer my phone, like ever) so I got a text, it read
"Hi Hollee, It is imperative that you call this number within the next 24 hours to secure your position, and to avoid being removed from the selection process. Best Regards, Office Manager"
I wasn't going to call back in all honesty, the next 24 hours were manic but I found 5 minutes and thought I may as well.
So I rang the mobile number, yes mobile, alarm bells anyone? And the guy answered like it was his personal mobile, I persevered. I told him my name etc etc he then said he wanted to ask me a few questions to ensure I am right for the agency, fine I thought. The questions were along the lines of "do you think companies would like you?" and "height, weight etc". He told me they don't have a height or weight limit which I thought was really good. Anyway he carried on, telling me he's working with MTV and had worked with The Fast and Furious franchise for extras, this is when the cracks started to show. He said he'd worked for the BBC and said that if I were to represent myself I wouldn't get anyway with a modelling career (don't underestimate me! but anyway.)
We then got into the crux of the deal. I would have to go to a test shoot, they would then offer me a full contract where they pay for everything (remember this we'll be coming back to it) a semi financed contract or no contract at all. Fine.
There was a £50 deposit for the day ALARM BELLS. If you were signed they kept it, if not you got it back. So I carried on he asked me when I could come for the test shoot, he wanted me literally a couple of days after the phone call, it all fell a bit too eager so we arranged and day and he instantly asked me for the money. I wasn't going to go so I told him I didn't have it at the moment, he kept pressing for it, I told him i could get it to him the next day "what time, what time?" Oh christ. I said early afternoon so he gave me their bank details to do a direct BACS payment, he recommended I speak to other models they had signed to get a feel for what it's like, so I did.
Straight off the phone I jumped on Twitter and started digging, I came across a couple of people that I asked to DM me. One girl came back first, she was from Birmingham and was signed with a full contract after the test shoot, yes, she paid for the privilege to go all the way to London!
We got chatting and I was asking her whether they were legit, she told me that she got the full contract but she can't go forward until she pays for her portfolio. Pays for it? I thought a full contract meant it was all paid for you. I said that to her and she said she didn't know why but it was going to cost her £2000! TWO GRAND?! This was simply for photos. I would want my face carved into diamond for that money. We got to talking and she decided to ask another of the models. She had only questioned whether it was right or not when the other girl blocked her and reported her to the modelling agency, who then told her that her contract was suspended until she rang them.
I'm not being funny but that to me is seriously fishy. For a start when I googled the company I couldn't find anything apart from their own website. No reviews, no nothing. This is a company that apparently works in the USA massively. I found no proof of that. They had no testimonials on their website which I thought odd seeing as MTV and huge movie companies had used them.
I came to the conclusion this was a scam. What really upsets me about it is women are so insecure now that the idea they could become a model surely makes them feel accepted and good about themselves. The girl that I spoke to said in her own words that she was riding on that opportunity to get her life on track and yet she very nearly paid out £2000 for it.
It's disgusting when people tale advantage of insecurities, especially when it comes to women and the society we live in. Please if ever you get one of these opportunities think, if they want me I shouldn't have to pay. In a world that wants to screw you over at every turn, knowing your worth is the most valuable tool you can possess.