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Home > Help & advice > Industry advice > Avoid model scams

Avoid model scams

In recent years the internet has changed the way that many businesses run beyond recognition. This has been very positive for the modelling industry in a multitude of ways. Potential models now have the opportunity to share online portfolios and search for potential work via reputable agencies and clients are able to put in model requests - and make selections - all on the same day.

However, there are of course negatives to consider as well. While the internet has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for both model and client, it is important to remember that such a huge resource is also very difficult to regulate. This difficulty in regulation has led, amongst other things, to a large rise in scam agencies that prey specifically on would-be models and other talented people.

Thankfully, people are becoming far more internet savvy in response, and vulnerable parties are beginning to protect themselves better – taking time to research companies before taking up representation and, as a result, managing to steer clear of those who are simply there to take advantage.

This increase in public awareness is good for the industry and Models Direct and Talent Management are glad to see that people are now far more aware of what to look out for. However, there is still some confusion regarding the difference between a legitimate agency and a scam agency - which has led to some misdirected negativity being aimed at long-standing, creditable talent and modelling agencies.

In this Industry Advice section we hope to explain the difference between scam agencies and reputable agencies. We pride ourselves on having a consistent and professional approach and our goal is to advise those who are thinking about a career in modelling, helping them to make an informed choice.

We address many concerns in our Frequently Asked Questions section on the website but the Q&A section below also highlights ways in which you can identify and protect yourself from a scam agency:

Why is it that people who are interested in modelling are more susceptible to being scammed?

People are vulnerable to being scammed in this industry as it is largely unregulated, which can be confusing. This can lead to some agencies taking advantage of people that are unaware of this when looking for talent and modelling work.


What sort of claims do these scam modelling and talent agencies make?

More often than not they will claim that you have to pay for them to take professional photographs of you, or state that you must pay and attend one of their modelling courses to be listed by them. However, in reality the photos are often of poor quality and unnecessary as they can quickly become out of date. Modelling courses also do not guarantee you work. The courses will perhaps give you a little knowledge of the industry, but it’s important that you find out how this modelling course will directly benefit you, especially if it is run by people who don’t know anything about the industry.

Will I be guaranteed work?

Many of these scam modelling agencies deceive people by guaranteeing that they will get you work. However, the modelling industry is very competitive and it is the client that makes the final decision for booking. You should always be wary of any company guaranteeing anything in this industry. They are usually lying so you will give them small, or often large, sums of money for nothing in return.

You can find out what the models and talent we represent say about us here.
We do not guarantee that we will be able to find work for our models as the industry is very competitive. However, we do have a consistent flow of companies asking to book our models and talent via our job board and they are put forward for work whenever they match the client’s criteria.

We also like to meet our models and will offer to pay half of your travel costs from anywhere in the UK to come to our headquarters and meet our team here in East Anglia.