This is a shout out to all aspiring models, especially girls, who are in the process of kick starting their career. We’re sure you’ve heard about internet safety a million times in school assemblies or from your mum and dad, but even now, years after MySpace landed, Facebook statuses took over the world and Instagram grew into an international creative hub, people are still trying to take advantage of young models via the Internet. We want to show you how to spot and deal with fake agencies and people posing as model agents and scouts.
Register today with UK Models to build a portfolio with a trustworthy, reliable company that has your best interest at heart!
How to Spot a Fake
The best way to spot a fake model agency is in the finer details. You will normally be targeted online so first keep an eye out for simple spelling mistakes in emails and a misuse of the English language (words are often a bit jumbled up in the sentence). Professionals will not send out an email before it is 100% grammatically correct.
Look out for how the email/message is addressed. Ignore emails that start with sleazy terms of endearment including ‘Heyyy girrll’ or ‘hey sexy’. This is not how a professional organisation would reach out to models.
Do Not Trust so Easily
If the email says anything remotely unnecessary – whether it includes comments of a sexual nature or indeed asks for bank details or payment – ignore it. Never give out personal details, never forward your phone number on and do not Skype people even if they say it is for an interview. Never meet up with anyone who you have met through social media as you are putting yourself in a very dangerous situation. Even if they say they are inviting you to open calls. This is not how the modelling industry works. Trustworthy companies and agencies operate through the correct channels. Unfortunately, scam artists try to prey on young, naive models by pretending to be model management companies.
The Internet is easy to hide behind with the recipient not knowing the truth. Some are lured by the idea of international modelling thinking they are being contacted from agencies all over the world. However, the reality is much different. If any of this occurs on Facebook, report it. If it’s an email, mark it as spam and delete it. Are you are seriously concerned about a message? Contact the police or speak to a parent/teacher/adult.
Do a Little More Research
If everything seems legitimate up until this point, we now want you to do a little more digging.
The Social Media Account
If you have been messaged on a social media account, look at the profile/page that the message came from. Legitimate businesses on Facebook use a page rather than a profile; that is your first clue. If they use a page you can normally tell if they are real or not by the number of ‘likes’ they have; the more the better. However, people can cheat by buying likes so use this as a guide rather than fact. On Instagram, agencies will usually have a business account but again can easily create a fake. Those that are not legit are quite obvious to spot as soon as you check out their profile. The grid usually does not look genuine.
If it is a profile, have a quick scan through the ‘friends or followers list’. Without sounding judgemental, a friends list with hundreds of girls from across the world on it tends to be a bad sign. Please note that a huge proportion of professional companies will not contact you initially via social media.
We strongly suggest not accepting a request from anyone that you do not know. Remember that it is incredibly easy for a far older person, possibly of the opposite sex, to make a fake account.
Is It Legit
Finally, look out for pointers that your message is real and from a legitimate company.
Your email should be finished with a full name, not a nickname. It should have the company’s details at the bottom: a website, Facebook page, Twitter account, phone number or address. A logo will be present and the email address will contain the company’s name. If there is no reference to a company at all it is likely to be a fake account.
Have You Been Contacted By UK Models?
If you think you have been contacted by UK Models, here’s how you can confirm that it is us (or indeed a fake account trying to pose as UK Models, in which case ignore it).
1.A member of the UK Models team will only contact you if you have contacted us first. People can contact UK Models via our website, Facebook page or UK Models app. We do not cold call people and do not add people on Facebook.
2. UK Models are not a model agency (we are a model support service). We do not email models telling them that we want to sign them. We will never invite you for an ‘audition’ or ‘casting’. The only time we will invite you to meet us is at our London studio for a portfolio session after you have expressed an initial interest in this.
3. Remember that our name is UK Models. We are not linked to UK Teen Models or Models UK.
4. These is our phone number and last 3 digits may change according to the consultant you are speaking to: 0207 079 4501, (Could be 02070794502, 02070794503, 02070794504, etc). If you are unsure by a message you have received simply phone us to check if it was us. This applies to all companies. Just simply contact the company that they are allegedly trying to imitate and ask them directly.
5.We will never say ‘Don’t worry that you’re under 18, we will still photograph you, and no, you don’t need to bring your parents along!’ This is not how we work. We always talk to your parents if you are less than 18 years of age and we require your parent/guardian present at the shoot.
6.We will only send you emails from a legit UK Models web address. (e.g: firstname.lastname@example.org) so if you receive emails from any other addresses its not from us.
7.If you have ever received an email that worries you, or if you receive an email in the future that you’re not 100% sure about, ask an adult for their opinion. Don’t feel bad reporting anything suspicious and take pride in your maturity as you delete fake and inappropriate messages. If you do want to speak to a legitimate member of the UK Models team, you can do so by visiting our official website: www.ukmodels.co.uk.