There are over 62
million people in this country and all these 'model advice' tricksters tell you - that almost every
one of them - can be models - providing they pay up-front?
All you have to do is - stick a
bit of makeup on - this is what LSM tell you... "*WE
WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO KICK START YOUR CAREER*- We
are inundated every week with requests from casting
directors looking for models for fashion editorials, catwalk shows, magazine shoots, print campaigns, commercials,
music videos and many other modeling opportunities. If we think you have what it takes to model
you will be put up for these jobs."
BBC 'Rip Off Britain'
Modelling scams -
BBC Rip Off Britain expose 'Form Models' one of
many - promising to kick-start your modelling and acting career...
Of course no one gets any work. All these tricksters want - is your
money - for worthless portfolios...
Crooks too clever - putting nothing in writing!
The law protecting the guilty - instead
of the innocent...?
The government promised to "stamp it out"
in 2006, but 6 years later there are - even more crooks out there!
"When consumers have been wronged they should be able
to have free access to justice quickly and simply. With these proposals, when a business has infringed your rights as a consumer
the court will make sure they reverse the damage and give consumers their money back. This will put the balance back in the
system, and give consumers more power to exercise their choices confidently."
Government - BIS EAS Announce (15Oct12)
agreement to new consultation (4th) regarding up-front fees and
the conduct of employment agencies in the entertainments industry!
Government finally agree to new 'up-front' consultation! If you have been scammed by a bogus 'agency', write to your MP,
contact the newspapers, radio and TV.
Ask them why the government are protecting these crooks - from prosecution. Don't feel foolish and do nothing... The more you put on 'Facebook', 'Tweet' & 'Blogs' - the more likely journalists
will have to question government. You owe to yourself and future victims!
Help me... To help you...
BIS Employment Agency Standards claimed on 15Oct12: "There is no harm in employment agencies or employment
businesses offering work-seekers a range of services [photographic services] which are not directly
for finding or seeking to find that work-seeker work, and which the worker might have to pay a fee. This provided
the work-seeker is free to determine whether or not to use these services and that the provision of the work finding services
provided by the employment agency is not conditional upon the the work-seeker paying for "other" (i.e. non work
Government still will not prosecute even a single crooked acting
or modelling agency - Claiming that they still just want to seek compliance?
The scams continue!
Do I blame 'La Mode' agency charging up to £2,950.00
for worthless pictures/web page - Or do I blame the BIS EAS government department, that still allows the crooks to continue to rip off the young and old, vulnerable, would be actor or model?
Smith model agency who is a member of the AMA, claim that 'models' still have to pay an up-front fee of £185
per year for their 'Casting Directory'. They also make claims reference adults and none adults. There is no difference!
So when the BBC production company 'Flame TV'
were told they [BBC] had made bogus claims, they stated:
"The aim of our series was to raise awareness of a wide range of
scams and in each case offer as much basic advice as possible on how to recognise scams and avoid them. The nature of television
means it's not always possible to provide full, detailed advice and in the case of our 5 minute piece on modelling scams
we were really only able to look at them in quite a general way. However, as modelling scams are clearly a serious problem,
we did feel it was important to include them in the series. "Given the time constraints of the piece, our priority was to look
at some typical features of a modelling scam and to make the point that whilst there are regulations in relation to upfront
fees, it is still an unregulated industry. I appreciate you have some concerns over exact wording but we feel we did get these
key messages across and I would hope that it has made many more people aware that modelling scams are out there."
This was my reply:
“Even with your poor excuse, constraints of time…? What was
stated on your programme, “key message”, was completely and utterly bogus. There is no other word to use. The
‘key message’ is - that up-front fees have NOT been banned. I expect the ‘BBC’ to tell the truth,
don’t you? I will now print your lamentable excuse on my website. You are turning this important issue into farce!”
who made a complaint to the BBC and is still
awaiting a response!
would appear that the nature of 'BBC' television - is that they can make
it up as they go along...
The public don't
appear to deserve the (basic) truth?
BBC also mislead the public
by claiming that they have "spoken to some of the UK's leading authorities
(Model Advice) on fraud".
Yes 'Model Advice' charge up to £1,500 - They should know...
"These scam agencies will accept the model immediately
and promote a promise of paid work. They generally ask for an upfront fee to join the agency
and give you the promise of paid work under the condition that you purchase an expensive, and
often useless, modelling portfolio. So be wary and always check out the agency before you sign
If there were indeed "scam agencies" - Who exactly are they? Surely
they would face prosecution?
Advice' gives the impression that portfolios (makeovers) are expensive
and often useless?
Those who have contacted me, have claimed that Model Advice Ltd charged
them £1,500 for photography/pictures/portfolios.
But, according to world famous modelling agency 'Storm'...
of girls and boys want to get into modelling. Many are being exploited by unscrupulous people posing as bogus model agents.
On the false promise of a successful modelling career, girls as young as 15 are spending up to £500 on portfolios of
pictures that are useless.”
"Do not pay for any
not believe anyone who tells you that you need a professional portfolio
to be considered by an agency. Natural shots without make-up are the best guides for us to decide as to your potential. Many
people have thrown away hundreds of pounds having useless pictures taken on false promises."
When you see things such as this, it is - Too good to be true!
“FAQ for Extra
Factory: Will I get my £30.00 back if I do not get no work? Yes, if after 6 months of signing up we Extra Factory you
have not had one single job offer then we will refund your £30.00. We know that this is impossible to happen as we have
never had a client of ours never be offered at least one job while being on our books. NOTE – If you can not take the
job we offer working as a TV extra in the first 6 months then that rules out the chance of you getting the refund.” Of course the
agent has now 'disappeared', but I still retain a pdf copy on file.
That item was just the tip of the Iceberg, however...
Applicants were told, regardless of how good
their pictures/portfolios were - that they would have to pay out for ones that met the agencies criteria. Of course they knew
just the photographers! Click:
Today (4 January 2012) the ASA highlighted
an advert published in 'The Stage', as being completely bogus. The advertiser 'Castingallstars', were exposed
- for never finding anyone a job, despite being in business since December 2008, three years ago.
The 'agency' were also found
to be operating from a rented 'desk' and did not even rent an office. The agency claimed to audition "extras,
walk-ons, actors, singers and dancers". But no one was. The only thing on offer to performers, was the chance (hard sell)
to pay 'up-front' fees, for photography. Even if you brought your own portfolio, the agency claimed they were not
to their standards, but of course the agency had their own photographers...
It will come as no surprise to 'The Stage' readership, that the agency website has
now disappeared. Who was running the agency? Well without agency licensing, we will never know. No doubt they will set up
another agency and place further advertisements. A complaint was made to BIS EAS in July, but of course the EAS never replied.
Strangely, the ASA would not uphold my complaint regarding
the charging of up-front fees. They did initially... As far as I am aware there is no legal distinction (limit) of what constitutes as an “upfront fee”. I
have asked for the EAS to define such a legal term, but so far it has refused to do so.
My opinion, is that any fee an agency charges applicants, prior to getting paid work, constitutes - as an up-front
fee, if it is through the agency or recommended through a third party, connected to that agency – in some form. Quite
often I find that those running the agency, also run the firm of photographers. Therefore they are connected.
Performers, as I have clearly shown, are just as likely to be scammed now, as they were
before - the three sets of EAS legislation purportedly banning up-front fees.
I took the time to go and watch the proceedings
at this delegated legislation committee, in room 9 at the Palace of Westminster. I believe I was the only person from the
entertainments industry, who attended. What took place at this government debate, shocked me. Exactly 19 minutes, most
of which was taken up by speeches which had no relevance to the issues under discussion. This time round it was just a rubber
stamp job, where no real debate took place. A far cry from the previous statutory instrument debated in 2007, which MP Mark
Prisk attended. Shame!
Only one MP at this committee acknowledged my existence...
“I have a particular
concern. The Minister referred to the distinction in respect of acting and the fact that the outright ban will not apply to
that area. Clearly, there are hazy areas between acting and modelling that might cause some difficulty in definition. Could
the Minister say a little more about the definitions? How can we be sure clear distinctions will be drawn between acting and
modelling, in order to avoid future problems?”
And the reply:Mr Davey: (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills)
“-our concern was more whether, if we had extended
the ban to acting, we would have had a much greater problem with definitions distinguishing between extras and actors—there
are some difficult distinctions there. That is not why we did not apply the ban on up-front fees to actors; as I am sure the
hon. Gentleman is aware, the findings of the consultation were that there was less abuse in that sector, so it would have
been disproportionate to have a ban on the fees. However, the distinction from the past between modelling and acting in all
its different guises is not one with which the employment agency standards inspectorate has found a problem.”
There are two issues here: The first is that this government
department claims that it is difficult to differentiate between extras & actors, but that it is easy to differentiate
between models & extras. Is this true? if it is then what do they base this on? The second is that there is less
abuse in acting and extra sectors.This (so called) fact - now claimed by this government
department, has never been made public before, as far as I am aware, not even in the government published consultation report...
So, what proof have they to substantiate
this (bogus) claim? All the adverts I have seen, many refer to “Do you want to be a model or extra?” The
same agent represents both models & extras. Will these types of agencies be able to continue - to charge up-front fees?
Many of the agents who have represented me, have provided
me - with both photographic work and extra/walk-on work. Clearly the ban on model agencies charging a fee for entry into a
directory, is doomed to utter failure. Is this government department now telling me - that they were unaware - that agencies
offer both modelling and acting/extra work, at the same time? Is this yet another indication of the need for a BIS Select
Committee board of enquiry on what the EAS is doing/not doing. This is quickly turning into utter farce. I thought that Ministers
were there to scrutinise issues, was I wrong in this assumption?
No EAS Regulations - that are ever put into place, actually mean anything. There are no fines/penalties imposed
if agencies ignore them. The EAS have no powers to ensure refunds. You have to seek your own remedies.
We were deceived by Labour, will the Conservatives be any better? Well I certainly know that
BIS Minister Mark Prisk is up to speed on this issue - since 2007.
up call - for the media... Bogus Agencies? Actors
& Models... You have no rights!
Most journalists are not willing to tell you
the real truth...
Most adverts you see, by so called 'agencies',
offering immediate work, for actors, models
and extras - are nothing but a scam!
They just want to charge up-front fees...
they want is your money!
When will the media tell you
the real truth???
1995 - think that you should be allowed to be open to every scam out there - if you want to be a performer
in the entertainments industry...
It is not illegal to offer work - that does not
actually exist in order to charge up-front fees...
According to statements by BIS
Employment Agency Standards:-
"There is no regulation in the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 that makes
it an offence for an employment agency to offer a work-seeker work that does not exist. If such behaviour was taking
place it is possible that the such offers were not being made by an "employment agency", as regulated by EAS,
and that the service was bogus and the person was purporting to operate as an employment agency." 1/08/2011
"It is not within EAS' legal remit to deal with the issue of scams for photographic
”EAS does not investigate allegations of obtaining money by false
that is why the EAS ignore these scams?
There are more up-front
fee scams involving photography, than any other type of scam.
And...What does the government actually mean, by claiming
- that if an employment agency offers work - that does not exist - they may
not be an agency???
Then why allow
them to trade...
So it is perfectly legal
to claim work exists - when it does not?
Government have no
interest in photography scams? - So why
the bogus 30 day EAS cooling off period... Not a single prosecution since 1995...
What Planet are the Media
the 'media' blown the whistle before on this EAS government
department, thousands could have been protected!
"We do not
publish the detail of our investigations, or reveal information captured during an inspection, unless it leads to a public
prosecution or prohibition."
No up-front fee
prosecutions means no wrongdoing...?
Yet another Minister tricksnewsmedia!
2003 this EAS government department stated in their press release:
"Agencies placing actors, models and extras no longer being allowed to charge upfront fees before they find
"They'll also mean that unscrupulous entertainment
and model agencies can't charge young hopefuls a fee where they have no work to offer. "In the future, everyone who uses the services provided
by agencies and employment businesses can have greater confidence in them – both those companies that use them to supply
staff as well as the agency workers themselves."
All these completely bogus government statements... Yet the news mediastill remain silent?
could we not have known what was going on?”
BBC Watchdog 5May08
This is what the BBC said:
"Hundreds of you have come a cropper
with companies who make you think fame and fortune is just
around the corner"
Let me correct
the BBC, it is not hundreds - it is thousands!
The BBC should be
telling the truth...
Was removing Agency Licensing in 1995...
"There is a scam for everybody. It doesn't
matter who you are, where you are, where you live. The conman have custom built a scheme to get your cash. The question is,
how do you recognise it and how do you avoid it? Well that's where a bit of inside knowledge can be a very valuable thing..."
(Matt Allwright BBC1 'You've Been Scammed' 18 November 2011)
have we got government departments for, such as Trading Standards, Employment Agency Standards and Office of Fair Trading?
Are they merely figureheads - but do nothing!
was the last time (any time) the BBC actually castigated government
- that put in up-front fee regulations - that had absolutely
Nobody is willing to tell the REAL
truth, not even the BBC. When will this change...
Previous Minister, Patrick McFadden, stated on the BBC Radio 4
Today programme on 29 January 2008:
"Enforcement is not just
about prosecution, but getting people to abide by the law," he said. "But where there is persistent offences, we
What utter rubbish...!
Scam agencies do NOT abide by the law; why should they; there are NO penalties in
place to stop them...
Mark Prisk Shadow Minister, on 31
May 07, interviewed 6 members of the public who came from all over the country, regarding being victims of up-front
fee scams by bogus model and extras agencies. This was the closing date for (BERR) Employment
Agency Standards latest
consultation; but we have had so many...
On 4th June 07, an early day motion (EDM) was
put to the House of Commons by Mark Prisk regarding the fact that the BERR EAS still
refuse to take a single prosecution, despite the promise made by Gerry Sutcliffe to Parliament, in May last year to:
“Stamp It Out!”
Fraudulent Up Front Fees!
That this House notes that thousands of young aspiring actors and models are being defrauded by unscrupulous agencies
who charge unwarranted up-front fees; further notes that the vast majority receive no work in return; recalls the promise
made by the Government in May 2006 that it would stamp out this practice; is concerned to note that not a single prosecution
has since been made; and calls on the Government to now prosecute rogue agencies and to close the legal loophole which allows
this fraudulent activity to continue in the entertainment industry.
“Recent changes in the law
will have a significant impact on the abuse that occurs in the sector,” said the spokesperson. We have put safeguards
in place that ensure that workers in the entertainment sector are adequately protected from the attention of rogue agencies
whilst still having the opportunity to look for work. We do not think a licensing regime is appropriate for this sector and
our priority is effective enforcement of the existing regulatory framework, not further licensing." Yet the two government
bans put in place in October 2010, do not work. The ban on charging up-front casting directory fees to models, is worthless.
Agents just have to say that their models will be offered none speaking acting roles - in order to circumvent this regulation.
The 30 day ban on charging portfolio/photography fees by agents is worthless too. The agent just sets up a separate photography
company, to circumvent this regulation.
Nothing has changed, so how can the government claim that there is adequate protection? Under the 'Freedom
Of Information Act' (FOI) I have now asked the government to substantiate these claims, by 28 April 2011.
Here we are in December, but a wall of silence,
despite agreeing to provide answers!
it will be interesting if they ever do try to substantiate
their bogus claims...
From 1st March 2011,
the Advertising Standards Authority
(ASA), took complaints about website claims. For the very first time we have the opportunity to ensure that acting/modelling
agency websites, tell the truth.
Until now agency websites could make any claim they wanted, to entice
applicants to pay up-front fees/portfolio fees. Employment Agency
Standards although responsible for the conduct of employment agencies has always refused to police
agency websites. I think we are finally starting to turn the corner - towards better standards.
UK Models = Diesel Models + Blue Rooms + Fusion = £1,500
Tricksters on the Internet!
Erik Irving/Chandler's mob including
Siobhan Dwyer (calling herself Clair Pink) were in
Plymouth - at the Invicta Hotel LPL1 2PU on Sat
16 April & Sun 17 April for a Free Phototest Shot & Photograph (£399)
posing as an - 'employment agency'...
Search UK Ltd. Company No 07551416. Was registered at Companies House only on 3 March
2011. The (puppet) director shown is a Darren
Stephen Somerville (originally from Dungannon) trading from: TV Studio 105, 483 Green
Lane,London N13 4BS. On 4 March 2011 I had two concrete blocks thrown through my house
windows. On 5 March they were in Leeds...
Photography is run by Erik Irving he has put in his on/off partner/girlfriend Rebecca Moore to actually front it and she set up the website: www.poutimages.com Erik Irving has put in his assistant, Siobhan Dwyer to front
the hotel events by Talent Search UK. An awful lot of coincidences. Of course Erik
Irving will deny he is behind the scam. But, he was behind all the others, yet was never
a director of most of those companies...
The only company that Talent Search UK put you in touch with,
is Talent Management who also runs Models
Direct. According to the Advertising Standards Authority only one
agency is used...
Runway Models had charged £475
to put you in touch with - ModelModel.tv -
same people, who promise you a job,
but cannot give you the date
or send you any details of the job. The 'agency' was registered in the Virgin Islands and demanded an up-front
fee of £99!