Suki Rexen, Model’s Workshop CEO, hosted a very important workshop on May 23 entitled Modeling Scams & Scammers. This discussion focused on how crucial it is for models to recognize scams, how to avoid them and what we can do if we become victims of them.
As an SL model one of our goals is to get our name known and our face recognized in the SL fashion world. We attend numerous castings calls, get accreditations from multiple modeling schools and take part in contests and pageants, sometimes forgetting that some of those are simply scams to get our money or exploit our avatar for their own gain and entertainment.
Model’s Workshop provided a platform for us to share our experiences with scam artists. It was not surprising to hear that many of us were taken by the same or similar scams, including being lured by
- Fake modeling agencies that require us to pay up front and don’t deliver on promises.
- Fake casting calls that required us to take off our clothes.
- Model castings and contests that require us to purchase products.
- Modeling jobs that require us to be animated in explicit ways.
- Fake contests that don’t deliver on contest prizes.
- Copybotters and stalkers.
There are many SL scammers out there. Most simply want our money for little or nothing in return. Telltale signs of a scam artist include
- Scammer’s account is new — less than a month old should raise some flags.
- Scammer’s groups are suspect — they belong to stripper/gorean/sex sim groups.
- Casting/Job notices only include a landmark and little or no details about the job.
- When teleported to a casting/job location you are spammed with group invites or requests to animate your avatar.
If things don’t feel or look right, don’t do it — go with your gut.
The following are steps you can take to identify scams:
- Research the person/agency/designer prior to attending casting/interview.
- Get feedback from friends, fellow models and agency owners who may have had past dealings with a suspected scammer.
- Read carefully the requirements of a casting, modelling job, contest or pageant and make sure you understand and agree with all the terms and conditions stipulated in the Rules.
- Be vigilant about who you give your Lindens to — if it sounds too good to be true it probably isn’t good or true.
- Have a clear career path and only accept jobs that will keep you on that path.
OH NO…I’VE BEEN SCAMMED!
If you suspect you are a victim of a scam
- File an Abuse Report with Linden Labs
- Keep all records of transaction, documentation, photos and products that pertain to the scam.
- Keep all communication made with the scammer (IMs, local chat, e-mails) to back up your allegations.
- Make sure you read and understand Linden Lab’s Terms of Service so that you can properly identify a case of fraud and use the proper channels to make your case and get a resolve in your favor.
- Always have proof of a scam before broadcasting it to the world. False allegations may result in you being reported, losing your account or sued.
This discussion was a much needed one that is clearly a challenge for many models. No doubt the topic will be brought up many times at Model’s Workshop. Our goal is to ensure that you as fellow models have the resources you need to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a scam.
We encourage you to comment or tell us your modeling ‘scam’ stories to help us identify those who want to put one over on us.
Remember…”Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much” —Helen Keller
Model’s Workshop COO
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