Fake Modeling Agencies – Child exploitation

Unfortunately, there are some very worrying facts regarding the child model industry that have not been addressed by the government and parents should be made aware of. Naive and vulnerable children are being targeted on Facebook from fake pages posing as modelling agencies, asking for photos that are deemed indecent, in the promise of more work. 

In 2011/2012 the police received reports of a scam which involved a number of social network sites posing as genuine modelling agencies and inciting children to pose in their underwear.

A number of false Facebook profiles were set up posing as modelling agencies; the profiles used an agency logo to give the impression that it was a genuine.

They then contact children via email asking them if they are interested in modelling. After a series of emails, the children are pressurised into sending photographs of themselves in their underwear.

Detectives have been carrying out extensive enquiries and have taken over the control of a number of social networking profiles connected with the investigation.

A global message has been sent to all those profiles and their friends alerting them to the scam and that the profile will be removed and any images obtained by the police will be destroyed at the end of the investigation.

“Reputable modelling agencies would never approach you in this way, do not post pictures online of yourself posing in your underwear and if you are under 18 these photographs may be indecent under UK Law.

“Unfortunately once images have been posted on the internet you have no control over where these photos will end up and they could appear on the internet forever.

All links below in RED can be opened

Beware Facebook model agency vultures, ripped off teenager warns

A TEENAGER warned yesterday how dodgy model agencies are using Facebook to target attractive young girls – and con them out of thousands of pounds. The youngsters are lured with false promises of glamour photos and plenty of work.

Children on Facebook targeted by fake modelling agencies encouraging them to pose in underwear

Dangerous Consequences

A California man who used the social networking site MySpace to exploit and abuse young girls across the country was convicted of dozens of charges.

A jury found Joshua David Threlkeld, 34, guilty of 79 felonies and one misdemeanor charge after deliberating a little more than two days in Riverside County Superior Court.

Between 2007 and early 2009, Threlkeld created a fake modeling agency and created an online identity as a 13-year-old model named Sara to lure young girls into sending him nude pictures, prosecutors alleged.

The victims were between the ages of 11 and 17 and jurors heard from 41 of them during the trial, according to the district attorney’s office.

Threlkeld was also convicted of kidnapping a minor for lewd acts because he took a 13-year-old victim to his friend’s condominium in Palm Springs for what he said was a photo shoot and then sexually assaulting the girl in the shower there instead, according to prosecutors.

He took other children to his home in Orange or a location in San Jacinto where he photographed them in the nude.

Threlkeld was discovered when one of the would-be model’s friends reported the pictures to her mother.

Examples of convictions in the UK

July 2004 - Sex offender posed as model boss

A man who promised modelling work to young girls he met in internet chatrooms before sexually assaulting them has been jailed for three years.

Charles Monaghan, 38, of Kings Drive, Preston, Lancashire, posed as the head of the fictional T & M Models agency, Burnley Crown Court was told.

He assaulted four girls, aged 13 to 15, in hotel rooms and at his house.

He admitted 11 counts of indecency with a child, twice having unlawful sex and three counts of owning indecent photos.

The father-of-two had molested the girls and gave one victim £17.50 for having sex with him

August 2010 - Man admits taking sexy photos of teen

A Chilcompton man who took sexy photographs of a teenage girl to help launch her modelling career has been sentenced to an 18-month community order and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

November 2006 -Ex-club boss jailed for grooming

A man who opened Northern Ireland’s first lapdancing club has been jailed for internet sex grooming.

Jerome Brennan, 49, originally from Manorcunningham, Donegal, posed as the female head of a modelling agency to gain the trust of a 15-year-old girl.

January 2007 - Sex pest spared jail sentence

A SEX pest who terrified women by posing as the boss of a modelling agency has been spared a jail sentence.

Matthew Bourne, of Wilden, exposed himself to a 24-year-old pregant woman and groped a 20-year-old.

A schoolgirl, approached by Bourne when she was 13, told the jury they exchanged mobile phone numbers. In text messages he offered her £60 an hour to pose for photographs and called her “gorgeous” and “sexy”.

May 2012 - Stockton paedophile posed online as female modelling agent – Jailed

A DEVIOUS paedophile posed as a female modelling agent online to dupe two underage girls into posing for him.

Michael Rodham, 56, of Newton Walk, Stockton conned the teenage girls into believing he was training them to be models over the internet. The girls thought they were talking to a 30-year-old woman named Sharon Jones who ran a modelling agency.

Feb 2010 - Ebbw Vale sex predator behind bars

AN EBBW Vale man, who manipulated girls as young as 14 into prostitution, was jailed for 11 years yesterday.

Wayne Morris Baker, 61, of Saron Place, Ebbw Vale, appeared in Newport crown court for sentencing, having previously pleaded guilty to a total of 22 sexual offences against a number of young women and girls.

Prosecutor Elwen Evans QC said Baker used the guise of his “quasi-legitimate” businesses, Mayfair Models, Mayfair Escort Agency and Mayfair Adult Promotions to attract girls and the girls’ backgrounds and circumstances made them vulnerable to a “predatory manipulator” like Baker, who would tell them how much money they could make by being an escort.

How to Spot Fake Modeling Agencies

A lot of aspiring models fall victims to scams run by fake modeling agencies. Therefore, models need to be very careful when selecting an agency. One of the ways that models can protect themselves from falling victim to such scams is by being aware about the kind of scams to watch out for.

Modeling agencies normally make money by earning a commission for every job that they help the models get. If you find a modeling agency that expects you to make payments even when you haven’t started working, then this is probably a fake agency. If an agency starts charging you extra fees such as consultation fee, photo session fees, representation fees or any other drummed up fees, then this is not the right agency for you.

Genuine modeling agencies normally have office building and operate from Mondays to Fridays. Never will a legitimate model agent ask you to meet him/her at his home. You should also never meet the agents in hotels or any other places apart from the agency. Many young naïve models have been seriously hurt y going for such meetings. Working hours are normally between 9am and 5pm on weekday;, be very cautious if an agent asks you to meet him after hours or even during the weekends.

Ensure that you join a modeling agency that is registered. Legitimate agencies have licenses displayed on their walls. Be very wary of modeling agencies that none of you, your family or friends have ever heard of. Also avoid agencies that don’t have any working models. You can check for the agencies listings and see, who they represent, if there’s no one that you know of, avoid the agency.

There are modeling agencies that not only run money scams but they also run scams for sexual gratification. An agency will ask models to go for a professional photo shoot at the agency only to ask them to pose nude or semi nude. A legitimate agency will never ask you to do this; a fake agency may do this just to exploit you sexually. They may then sell or distribute these photos further exposing you. Even if you want to be a lingerie or swimsuit model, the agency will never take nude photos of you; they will look at your portfolio or invite you for a casting call.

When you submit your application to the modeling agencies, they will schedule for a meeting with you before they start getting you jobs. If an agent tells you that they have gotten you a job before meeting you then that is definitely a scam. Also, be very wary of agents who make false promises such as,”I can make you a star.” or “You will be famous in no time.”These are lies; no agency can honestly promise you that. Modeling is hard work and it takes time to get to the top. Anyone promising you overnight success is a liar. Most models start by earning less than £200 for their first jobs then they work their way up in the industry, built their reputation over a period of time and that’s when they start earning a lot of money.