The unemployment rate in South Africa and rising costs of tertiary education has led a number of students and school leavers looking to take up a part time job. Many combine their love of socialising with work by acting as promotional models. Scamsters have, however, taken advantage of this desperate situation.
If you are looking to take up a job as a promotional model, take note of the following to prevent yourself from falling prey to promo model scams.
A good, legitimate agency should have no problem providing you with detailed answers about their company and should gladly offer references if needed. If the person with whom you are speaking is hesitant to reveal information or is very eager to have you sign a contract and pay upfront fees, chances are you’re dealing with a scam. Stay away from agencies who aggressively advertise in the newspaper, free local magazines or on the radio. Well-known, reputable agencies don’t need to advertise.
Find out if the agency signs talent for free or if they charge upfront fees
A modeling agency that requires you to pay fees for representation before you get any work might not legitimate. Most agencies should explain on their website that they don’t charge any fees and will only take a percentage of what you are paid when you get work. If an agency requires you to send money or pay for a professional photographer to develop your portfolio before you sign with them, then they’re probably not legit. Be wary of an agency that pushes you to pay for services such as classes and photo shoots.
Review all contracts and paperwork carefully
Note if the agency lists clients they’ve represented and the types of jobs they book for their models. Look through the agency’s roster of models and examine the quality of work they’ve done.
Legitimate modeling agencies operate during normal business hours
Normal hours include Monday through to Friday, 8am or 9am to 5pm. If a modeling agency wants you to meet in the evening or on the weekend, it’s probably not a safe bet. Look for the agency’s business license when you visit. If it is in plain view, then it’s a legitimate modeling agency. Note whether they display high-quality photographs of their models. If you see photos that look scanned or photocopied, then you’ve probably stumbled on a fake.
If you find any discrepancies when doing this evaluation, look for the nearest exit and run darling, run. For a legitimate promotional model agency look to Glamour Promotions.