• Report: #937186
Complaint Review:

Philip Cottrell Spain

  • Submitted: Wed, September 05, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, September 05, 2012

  • Reported By: Christian — Madrid Internet Spain
Philip Cottrell Spain
The Forge Internet United States of America

Philip Cottrell Spain Phil Cottrell Marbella Modelling Scams in Spain Oxford, Internet

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There is a whole industry that has developed to take advantage        of those who would like to become models. They are far removed        from the world of actual professional modeling. This modeling        scam and rip-off industry makes its money by alluding to or promising        great careers in modeling, but first you have to pay them up        front. Of course your modeling career never comes about and your        money is long gone. These enterprises prey upon your hopes and        dreams of becoming a star and they are betting on your lack of        knowledge about how the modeling industry really works. This    leach industry seems to be getting bigger everyday.These enterprises fall into three categories: the scam, the        rip-off, and those that just run bad businesses. All will take        your money and give little or nothing in return.The scam operation conducts fraudulent and illegal activities.        This type of enterprise has no intention of delivering on what        it promises. They make big promises and guarantees and usually        ask for a substantial sum of money up front, and then they vanish        in the night.The rip-off is a big category, and it's not illegal. Companies        operating rip-off schemes make vague promises or they tout one        or two models (out of thousands whose money they've taken) that        actually succeeded in a career. They will work with anyone who        pays money up front, and they tell everyone they have some type        of talent, whether or not they really do. The rip-off companies        can include modeling agencies that charge up front for signing        fees and photo shoots, or that require you take their class before        they will work with you. Also in this category are some of the        modeling conventions, searches, and competitions. Many virtual        modeling sites are springing up all over the web. New rip-off        enterprises are starting up every day.The bad business category includes enterprises that are trying        to conduct a legitimate business, but just don't know what they        are doing. They do not have the essential knowledge of the industry        they need or they may be poorly located. These businesses might        include someone who sets up a modeling agency in a too-small        market area, or a photographer offering to shoot professional        modeling portfolios but does not have the skill level to carry        it off, or it might be a modeling school that should really be        called a finishing school (offering classes in image enhancement,        or using outdated teaching materials). I think these businesses        mean well but they still cost money for classes or photos that        are ultimately useless.If your goal is to become a professional model, remember that        all of the scams, rip-offs, and bad businesses that promise to        take you to that goal are, in fact, barriers to it. Watch for        the warning signs.Warning SignsWarning signs of a scam, or a less than legitimate, or a poorly        run agency. If you find any of these warning signs, it does not        necessarily mean the business is a scam operation but be sure        to ask a lot of questions, and be sure the business gives good        answers. Always check references! New York City is the exception        to many of these warning signs.1) Newspaper classified ads or display ads looking for any        kind of model or talent (other than nude glamour modeling, i.e.        models for the adult entertainment industry). Reputable modeling        agencies receive plenty of would-be model inquiries so they don't        need to advertise for models. If they are short of talent they        will send their scouts out to public places to look for potential        talent.2) Pictures of famous New York supermodels on the walls of        their offices, or these models' comp cards on a wall rack. Top        New York fashion models do not need a modeling agency in small        town USA.3) Up-front fees. These could be signing fees, new account        fees, evaluation fees, etc. If an agency has to charge money        at the front end it means that there is not enough money at the        back end. It also means that the agency probably does not have        enough modeling work to be able to survive on commissions, and        therefore, not enough work for a model to survive on either.4) "We are interested in you but you need to test shoot        with our photographer and it's going to cost you." Legitimate        agencies will provide you with a list of photographers that you        may go to on your own. Many will have a place by the front door        for photographers' business cards that you can take on your way        out. You should be free to go to any photographer you choose.        If the agency tells you that you must use their photographer,        watch out. A twist on this theme is when the agency provides        the photo session at no charge, then charges you a high fee(example, $700)        for a "professional" makeup artist. You will need photos        at some point but you should be free to shop around and find        your own photographer and makeup artist.5) "We are interested in you but you need to go through        our classes first and it is going to cost you." Again money        at the front end means not enough modeling work at the back end.        A combination school/modeling agency has a conflict of interest.        For example, SAG (Screen Actors Guild) member agencies cannot        offer both.6) "We guarantee you work." Modeling agencies are        not employers. They represent you and try to get work for you.        Most of the time they don't know for sure what type of job will        come in or what 'look' may be needed, thus there is no way a        legitimate agency can guarantee you work. The best they can do        is to give you an idea of their track record on placements. But        remember that past performance is no guarantee of future performance.7) "As it says in our ad in the local newspaper we guarantee        you work, just like the famous models on our walls, just as soon        as you go through our modeling classes, shoot with our photographer,        and pay our agency fees." RUN, do not walk, to the nearest        exit.A Modeling ScamOne scam operation targeted a small town in Oregon. A Los        Angeles company looking for models for TV commercials ran ads        in the local newspaper. Applicants were told to send in some        personal information and a couple of snapshots. After that the        company would contact the applicants and let them know whether        or not they had the look that was needed. Then the would-be models        were signed up for a commercial that paid big bucks and told        that a test shoot was needed before shooting the actual commercial.        Contracts, airline vouchers, and lots of official looking paperwork        were sent to the would-be models. The company would pay all the        expenses except for the makeup artist, for which they required        $500 up front. Having a contract in hand and not understanding        how the modeling industry worked, the small-town would-be models        sent in their $500. Once the checks were cashed, the scam company        vanished. The commercial, contracts, airline vouchers, and guarantees        were all bogus. It is easy to con someone who is not educated        about the industry. As the song says, "The lure of easy        money has a very strong appeal."Classic Rip-off                Modeling Advice received the following letter telling a story        that is not uncommon. It shows what can happen when you are not        prepared for the shysters that are out there. It began with a        newspaper ad, a request for payment on photos, and a promise        of immediate work (after only the barest of interviews and without        photo testing). The operation is not illegal, just a rip-off.        The sender agreed to let me share it with others. She writes:Hello. I read your section on modeling scams. I know this        e-mail may be long, but please hear me out. I really need your        advice on this one. I feel really stupid now. I went to a modeling/talent        agency so that I could get my singing career started. I found        this agency in the newspaper (one thing you wrote about). I didn't        even go there for modeling I went there for the agent to listen        to a demo tape I had done. He told me he could not do much for        me in that field, but asked if I would consider modeling or doing        commercials, etc. He told me I would have to take pictures and        gave me a chart to look at. Three pictures cost $475. I had taken        a friend with me who advised me to do it, because through this        I could always meet people and start my singing career. There        were many other people in the office - for example, teenagers        and babies. He asked me how I would feel about doing a fashion        show this weekend and also said he got called for a video. Now,        anyone who has met me knows that I am a bit shy and have low        self-esteem, so why would you want me for this job? He even told        my friend that I had to break out of that and be more aggressive.Of course it was after I paid him that these questions        ran through my head. I had never done anything so stupid and        rash in my whole life. I think it was the rush of thinking I        might finally go out there and sing. He didn't tell me that I        needed to change anything about myself, which I personally thought        was odd. He had the secretary come in and take one of the photos        I brought in to FedEx it to the people making the video. Personally        I think it was all a big act. He also said it was good that I        lived in a particular area. He took pictures of me (I don't even        know if there was film in the camera) and said I could come back        in another day to take the other pictures. I was going back today,        but got stuck on the highway and did not make it on time. I called        and said I would be there in 10 minutes and the secretary told        me that I would have to reschedule because the agent was going        to a meeting, so I rescheduled for Thursday. When I had called        to cancel the initial appointment she jumped down my throat saying        that they are a professional agency and that she didn't think        I was serious about this. But this time she most easily rescheduled,        after they got my money. The contract he gave me said that they        would get 10% of what I make. I paid with a credit card and called        the company and froze my account, but it will probably go through        anyway. I'm not sure if they are for real or not, because I just        did this on Saturday, 4/1/00. I probably won't be able to do        anything about it now, but I still want people to know about        this and to be more aware. What can I do as far as that goes?        Maybe you can let the people know since you have a web site.        What can I do to protect myself as far as this matter goes? I        was also thinking about the fact that if he is not legitimate        and he does have pictures of me would he use them for other purposes?        I also called the Better Business Bureau and they said that this        company has been around since 1993 and they have had 14 complaints        in the last 36 months and they had responded to all of these        complaints. Please e-mail me and let me know how much of a scam        this sounds like if it is. I appreciate your time. Thank you.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/05/2012 01:47 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/philip-cottrell-spain/internet/philip-cottrell-spain-phil-cottrell-marbella-modelling-scams-in-spain-oxford-internet-937186. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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