|Scam Reporter||Scam Tips Received|
Brooklyn, NY, United States
| Fashion Trade/fashiontradepartners.com/Craigslist model search/"Moisturizer Face Cream Ad All Skin Types Needed" |
"2:45 Friday[Feb. 28, 2015]
5 Columbus Circle
59th & Broadway
Take the ADCB or 1
Train to Columbus Circle
Bring photo ID
Ask for Fashion Trade"
I initially arrived for that meeting late. The receptionist told me that I had just missed her, meaning the supposed "Fashion Trade" agent/casting director. When I attempted to call the number there was some interference and when it finally did go through there was some indistinct chatter and then the person hung up. I then left a text explaining that I had just missed them, that i would try to contact them later, and then asking to reschedule. The next day I received the following text from the same number "Can you come Tuesfsy" [Tuesday, March 3rd 2015]. I said that would be possible and they told me to arrive at 1:45. I arrived 10 minutes late due to the Q's delay at 49th st. I was met by the receptionist who pointed me to the glass cubicle by the door. A 5'-5'3 woman came out. She was Caucasian, approximately 45-60 years old, back length, straight, strawberry blond/ginger hair. She was wearing a black blazer and black boots. There was a black hooded trench coat on left chair closest to the door [her chair] and I sat across from it with my back to the glass wall/receptionist.
Though she asked me to bring photo ID in the text, she did not ask for it when I arrived. that was the first of a series of red flags. The first thing she asked me was which phone number I was, not what my name was. She then asked me if I had a professional photo portfolio. And then told me that she, or rather "they" [meaning her an the company] would like to set me up on a photo-shoot so that they would have a portfolio to send out. She then told me that she needed a deposit for the $250 shoot and asked me if my bank was close. She then said that she was set to leave in 15mins and that she would need it before she left. When I asked if she had a credit reader she blazed by my question and said that I could go to the ATM across the street. She then ushered me out under the pretense of time constraint and then asked me to lower my voice once we exited the cubical and entered the office hallway/lobby because people were working in the neighboring offices. As I rode the elevator down and walked to the Bank of America across the street I started to wonder about her legitimacy as, amongst other things, she never once asked about my experiences, gave me the details for the shoot, or asked to take my measurements or a reference photo (all standard things for modeling agencies). When I returned with $100 for the deposit, she was in the room with an approximately 5'5 Caucasian girl with back length chestnut brown hair. I took this opportunity to ask the receptionist about the woman and her agency. That is when I found out that she was actually just renting the space from the office, and that she would come in approximately 3 times a week when she had appointments set. The receptionist, a Hispanic woman with glasses and short auburn hair, would repeatedly state that she knew nothing about what the woman was doing. When she saw me talking to the receptionist she actually stopped half way through her meeting and came out to see what we were talking about. She then came up to the counter to glare at the receptionist and then returned to the office. After that the receptionist was less inclined to talk to me. The Woman then came back out, ushering out the girl just as she did me, and then invited me back in. She asked for the deposit and I took the opportunity to ask her some questions. This is when she became more fidgety and jittery. She was more insistent of her time constraint. She told me earlier that they worked predominantly with plus sized models but the girl that exited was a petite model. So I asked her again about the range of her models and she said once again plus-sized and I quote "Because most people in the Midwest are plus-sized and they mostly shop on line so. There is more of them." This I found alarming because of its lack of professionalism. She asked about the deposit again, but asked about the full $250. I told her I only brought $100 as paying $250 would make it a full payment not a deposit, and everyone knows deposits consists soling of a partial payment for purchase insurance. She was quick to back track and accept the $100 after I made this point. She handed me a receipt/Photo shoot guideline to sign. It simply stated what to bring to the shoot, how much I had paid and how much was left. I then asked her about her company name and who they marketed to, and she was unable to respond coherently. That is when she asked me how old I was. When I said 22 she said I Photographed young. She thought I was 18. She then became even more jittery and began packing up as I signed, stating that she needed to leave urgently and asked me if i have any more questions. I asked her what the name of the company was again and if they had a website. I began researching them on my phone as she packed up which appeared to make her nervous. She offered that we leave together. Stuck on the elevator for 5-10 minutes going from floor to floor. I took the time to look at the webpage. It was bare and the photos were all clearly non-inhouse/unoriginal ripped off photos of missed matched body types and photo quality. Though a red flag i chalked this up to me using my phone as not all web pages translate well on the phone. I then began my research on the scam sites but it was taking some time and again the sites did not translate well on to the phone. As people climbed in she positioned herself in front of them and when we finally made it down she bolted out of the door, head down, Black hood up, without saying goodbye, another unprofessional red flag. As I am tall I was able to catch up to her she jumped when she realized I was the one who tapped her on the shoulder. I asked about the photo shoot date and time. Frazzled she told me this coming Friday [March 6th, 2015] When I asked her if it would be at the same location she said yes, and then she back tracked and said that I should call her at 8pm tonight to confirm the location. Giving her the benefit of the doubt I did just that. I called the number 3 times. All 3 times it rang through to Voice mail. I searched the company and web info again with various scam report sites and found a hit on Scamadvisor.com. Though they were unsure of the legitimacy of the site/company they did have their digital information. i.e. The IP address, and its host phone number and address, which was stated as Pittsburgh, PA. I then went to see if the original Craigslist post was still there and it had been flagged down. So taking into account all the red flags I decided to file a report. Going to the precinct tomorrow. I will also put the information and story on scam report websites such as Scamdex.