Fraudsters keeping models out of the picture
Fraudsters are shattering the dreams of prospective models, who are duped into attending photo shoots, then taking an advance fee.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have noticed that fake adverts are being posted on social media - including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp - and job websites to intice people into believing they are recruiting for prospective models.
Once victims show interest in the job, the fraudsters contact potential victims on the false promise of a modelling career and subsequently advise the victims to come in for a test shoot.
The fraud can then potentially be carried out in two ways;
Firstly, the fraudsters pressurise victims in sending an upfront fee to book a slot for the test shoot. Once they have received the upfront fee, the victim never hear from the fraudsters again.
The second possible method is that the fraudsters take the advance fee the victim sends for a photo shoot and arranges a time. After the shoot, the fraudsters contact the victim after a few days and convince them their shoot was successful and offer them a job as a model. The victim will then be asked to sign a contract and pay another upfront fee, usually to secure the modelling contract.
Fraudsters are also creating fake adverts for supposed modelling opportunities for children which do not exist. Fraudsters inform parents or guardians that a potential career in modelling awaits their child. This tactic convinces the parent or guardian to sign up their child and send an advance fee.
The suspects will also convince the victim that in order to become a model, they will need to have a portfolio. The fraudsters will recommend a number of packages and stress that if a package is not paid for in advance, the process of becoming a model cannot continue.
In August, 49 Action Fraud reports of this type were received. The total loss in August alone was over £71,000.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.