How do I know if the model agency is a scam?
There are far more aspiring models than there is room for at the limited amount of good fashion model agencies. There are second tier model agencies in big markets that can do a reasonable job, but those markets are pretty much limited to New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
There are many not so legitimate agencies that prey on less knowledgeable aspiring models. How do you avoid them?
- First research the agency. Chances are that you’ll find posts online from aspiring models that have had bad experiences. However, don’t count on that. Scammers change the names of their business all the time to avoid bad reviews.
- Be very wary if asked to spend money, especially if it’s to be paid to the agency.
- If you are not qualified (as described in “How do I get signed by a top modeling agency”), almost any offer has an ulterior purpose.
- All real agencies have offices, not all agencies with offices are legitimate.
These are just a few tips. You should become familiar with the names of the better agencies. In some cases that alone isn’t enough. For example Wilhelmina, one of New York’s top agencies has a couple branch offices, but also licenses (rents) their name out to other agencies, some of which have been considered less than scrupulous.
As an example, in Los Angeles, there are many agencies but less than 10 that are worth considering in our opinion. Again, we are only talking about fashion agencies.