Child Modeling Scams


"There is not a whole lot of [child] modeling work available outside New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Dallas, so make sure that an agency does not give you false information about who their clients include." -- Parents Magazine

"Models must live near the agency's headquarters, which is likely to be in New York City, Los Angeles, or Miami, though some leading firms have offices in such cities as Cleveland or Phoenix." -- Deborah Skolnik, Parents Magazine


"You need to be able to travel to shoots and meetings on very little notice -- sometimes a few hours. Only people who are local can do that." -- Margaret Pelino, booking agent, Ford Modeling Agency, Manhattan


In her book, The Modeling Handbook, Eve Matheson writes: "Never spend money on a portfolio for a baby or young child. In three months they will look different. The pictures in your wallet will do just fine" (p. 120).

Tim Tew, a photographer in Orlando, Florida, has this advice for parents: "Don't let anyone sell you a thousand-dollar portfolio. You only need a couple of snapshots to find out if an agent is interested. Then a good headshot is all your need to get started" (p. 155). TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

WE GOT OUR MONEY BACK. THEY TOLD US THAT THERE WERE ONLY ABOUT 15 BOYS THAT WERE THE SAME CRITERIA AS OUR SON, SO HE HAD A 1 IN 15 CHANCE OF GETTING WORK FOR EACH JOB REQUESTED. THEY SAY THEY HAVE A LOT OF CLIENTS - SO YOU FIGURE IN A 5-YEAR PERIOD YOUR CHILD WILL GET A FEW JOBS...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR ASSISTANCE. HOW CAN THIS PLACE STILL BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE?

ANOTHER CONCERN, I RECEIVED A MAILING FROM THEM AFTER I GAVE BIRTH TO BOTH OF MY CHILDREN...WHO DO THEY PURCHASE THEIR MAILING LISTS FROM? THAT INFURIATES ME...I WANT TO FIND OUT WHO IS SELLING OUR INFO TO SUCH A SCUMMY BUSINESS!!!

Concerned Parent


Glad to hear you got your money back. They should never have taken it in the first place. Models who actually work do not expect to be paid until about 30 days after the job. Why do they think they should be paid before they do any work?

The information you were given by the "agency" makes no sense. THEY TOLD US THAT THERE WERE ONLY ABOUT 15 BOYS THAT WERE THE SAME CRITERIA AS OUR SON, SO HE HAD A 1 IN 15 CHANCE OF GETTING WORK FOR EACH JOB REQUESTED.

This mathematical nonsense is unbelievable. Each job does not have the same criteria, so how can they try to make your son "backwards compatible" to an imaginary set of criteria?! Could it be more absurd?

More importantly, the modeling industry does not work and is not run on probability and twisted mathematical projections and odd speculation. Reputable agencies get paid only after the talent gets work. They are not paid to speculate on the chances of your son getting work.

This five-year contract is outrageous. No other agency in America sells modeling contracts. It is NOT how the industry works, and in fact it runs totally against the grain of good ethics in every state and fundamental laws in several states. All the contract for sale amounts to is a registration fee. Registration fees are illegal or strictly limited for employment/modeling agencies in most states.

In New Jersey, where the company is based, agents cannot accept fees for "a service rendered or a product sold" if no employment has been accepted. In Illinois, where they have an office, an agency can only charge a maximum $4 registration fee, and only if granted such a permit. This fee is subject to return on demand if no position is procured.

Did the contract stipulate that if you pay their registration fee, but they do not get your son work, your money will be returned?


Children's Talent Agency Charged with Deceptive Trade Practices


Modeling scams are aimed at kids and adults by Seattle Times


Modeling come-ons that leave your kid in the lurch


Child Modeling Scams by CBS 58 Milwaukee


Steer Clear of Scams by Parents Magazine


If You've Got The Look, Look Out! by FTC


FTC Wins Permanent Injunction Against Talent Broker by FTC


Legal Opinion of United States District Judge Katharine S. Hayden


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