Scam 101

So…Scam 101…

Every now and again…I’ll do a post about something bad that happened to me…just so all of ya’ll don’t make the same mistakes I made…

And most of you will be wise enough not to…but I’d just like to put it out there.

THOUGHT: I am…so slyly, a little bit gullible and always try to see the good in people…s’not my fault…

(ANOTHER) THOUGHT: As much as I’d like to hot out the companies that did this to me (we’ll call them Company X and Company Y)…I’ve been advised against that for legal reasons, whilst the issue is still in process

WAIVER: Feel free to judge my actions…but remember everyone makes really silly mistakes sometimes! Also, if you have any concerns regarding what I’ve noted (or if anything seems familiar)…drop me a message and I’ll be happy to help… 🙂

So…it was summer 2009…and it was hot!
My first day off since I’d started working and me and my colleague went out to do a bit of shopping and chill.
So we’re walking through the shopping centre, minding our own business and a woman comes up to us out of nowhere and stops us and said that she likes my look and whips out a camera to take my photograph, took my number and gave me her card, promising to give me a call.

THOUGHT: I know…dumb move…but it gets better!

I had forgotten about my encounter until a few days later I had a call from them saying that I had the look that they wanted and they wanted me to come into the studio to get shots and stuff ready and whatnot for my portfolio to get me into the big wide world of TV and Film!
Everything was going to be paid for by them, but I needed to pay £150 as a sort of deposit on the day because I had to buy the copyright for my pictures, so I owned them and no one else could use them…

THOUGHT: Thought it made sense at the time…ha!

The photo shoot took place at Company X in Manchester; I went along with that same colleague and I was pampered for the day. They did my hair, my make-up, offered me champagne…and I even got a face and hand massage…then I changed and we started the shoot.
It was a looooong day!
When the day was finally drawing to a close, I went up into the office to view and select my shots. They then said that I’d have pay for my copyright licensing on the photos (or the company’s copyright fee). So I agreed and handed over my card so they could take out the £150 that they initially told me about…seeming as my “agents” company; Company Y, were going to pay for everything else.

THOUGHT: Dumber move STILL…I know *embarrassed face*

Through all of this there had been written correspondence via emails and letters. First and foremost, alarm bells started ringing when they sent me my first letter. For one, they’d spelt my name wrong…severely wrong, and secondly, it didn’t even look legitimate!
So…you know…me being…me…I dismissed the thought in the hopes I could do some modelling and earn a bit of extra cash…whilst all the time inside of me, bright red lights were flashing… “WARNING! WARNING! DANGER! DANGER!”
But did I listen? Nooo!

After waiting several weeks, sending several emails and many voicemails later, I started to realise…wait…something doesn’t really seem right.
I then concluded that it must have been a scam and didn’t actually want to believe what I’d suspected all along…then I started doing proper research. This is when I found that Company Y was indeed a scam, that used Company X, as well as Companies A, B, C and D to make themselves look legitimate (are you lost? Keep up! Companies A, B, C, D, X and Y were all working together…along with other companies I discovered)!

I was furious! But I really only had myself to blame…

I then started making all my phone calls and sought out legal advice at to what to do regarding the mess I’d gotten myself into and details were taken and reports filed.

Then in September 2009 (after I thought it had all blown over), money mysteriously started disappearing from my account…£83.33 every month…I’d forgotten they’d taken my card details and now they had started taking money out of my account…

THOUGHT: AAAAAARRRRRGH! You’ve got to be kidding me?!

So yeah…took a while…but I sorted that too (cost me two cards and frequent visits to my local bank)…It’s still an open case…

On the 1st October 2010, laws came into play to stop modelling agencies from charging upfront fees to clients. Obviously, this law won’t stop them doing what they’re doing, it just allows them to be more inventive in how they go about doing it.

THOUGHT: Another winner for the Government (!)

I’ve had articles written about mine and other people’s experiences, and have also been on the radio and been in the news informing people what happened to me so that no one would have to go through the same situation I did…and I hope people are listening.
Of course they’ll always be people who say it’s my own fault for what happened to me (like the woman who attacked me on Live Radio and pretty much called me ugly!), but I was naive and thought I’d scored big…ah well…I’ve learnt my lesson 🙂

And the moral of the story here today?
Don’t let random women take pictures of you in the street…reputable agencies never get new clients like that…ever.

THOUGHT: That was probably a “well duh!” statement…but if I chose to ignore it, some others might choose to also…

Hope you’ve all learnt something…my lesson was pretty expensive…but I learnt mine and am still learning it every day…


I've learnt mine...


~ by originalapplejunkie on February 10, 2011.

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