Big dreams turned into a big loss for one Brooklyn woman who found out the hard way that some modeling offers are too good to be true. Our Susan Jhun has the details.
A tempting ad that aspiring model, Shenette Richardson found online.
The Brooklyn resident says she met with the agency in the ad and was told she would have to pay $500 for, among other things, a publicist and photographs for her portfolio.
"I was a little shaky about it because I know for agencies you're not supposed to pay but I was like maybe I should invest in myself this could probably take me really far," Richardson said.
So, Richardson paid the $500 and actually did do a photo shoot in late March, at which point she says they told her she would get the photos soon. A week later, Richardson says she received an email from her publicist saying she no longer worked with the company.
"She found out it was a scam and she apologized," the would-be model said.
Frustrated, Richardson says she was referred to a slew of other employees and the owner of the agency but in the end she got no response, no photos and no money back. The company's website has since come down and Richardson is at a loss.
"I'm just so mad I fell for it," she said.
A common regret, according to The Better Business Bureau which finds New Yorkers fall prey to modeling and talent scams all the time.
"Modeling, talent agencies, they consider them like employment agencies so they do need to be licensed," said Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of metropolitan New York.
Additionally, the BBB warns New Yorkers to use common sense.
"Anytime, anybody is asking you for money upfront, that's a big red flag," Rosenzweig said. "Get references; don't just take them on the surface."
If you're searching for a company on The BBB's website and you can't find it, the agency says to call them and they'll do an investigation.
Richardson says she wishes she had been that skeptical.
"I don't want anybody else falling for something like this."
You can reach the New York BBB at 212-533-6200.