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Warning issued against fraudsters conning wannabe models

Posted on 30th October 2017

We’re sharing a warning from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau that in some parts of the country, fraudsters are setting up fake adverts on social media and job sites to dupe people into thinking they’re recruiting for prospective models.

The NFIB say that fraudsters are using Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp as well as job browsing websites to trick people.

Once victims show an interest in the job, the fraudsters contact them on the false promise of a modelling career and then invite them to come to a test photography shoot.

The fraud can then potentially be carried out in two ways; the fraudsters can pressurise the victims into sending an upfront fee to book a slot for the test shoot. Once they have received the money, the victim will never hear from them again.

The second method involves the fraudsters taking an advance fee and arranging a photo shoot. After the shoot, the fraudsters contact the victim and offer them a job as a model. They’re asked to sign a contract and pay another fee to secure the contract.

Some fraudsters are also creating fake adverts for supposed modelling opportunities for children. They inform parents that a potential career in modelling awaits their child, convincing them to sign up their child and pay an advance fee.

Between September 2015 and August 2017, an average of 28 reports of advance fee modelling frauds were received per month by the NFIB. In August 2017, 49 Action Fraud reports of this type of fraud were received. The total loss for that month alone was £71,000.

We’re sharing the following advice:

  • Carry out your own research prior to paying any type of advance or upfront fee
  • Be wary if you are asked to pay for a portfolio, as many legitimate agencies will cover that cost
  • Don’t give your bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on the relevant agency
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.