Well. All I can say is, you never know everything, do you?
I am a 40 year old professional, referred to this so-called 'Scouting Network' by a reputable personnel company. I was interviewed last Thursday, hired on the spot and asked to return the next day to start training. I was told by the office director 'Derrick' that he wanted to train a replacement for himself, as he had relocated from Florida to open scouting offices in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey- he needed to find someone to take his place, and that all company employees started as 'scouts'.
The information about the company was plausible enough, I went home and did some minor research...all seemed fine. The next day, (Friday), I returned to start my 'training'. There was a brief talk in the morning, followed by a conference call with all offices in the Eastern time zone, which was run by one Alec Defrawney (whom I now know is Alec El- Defrawney, ex con who spent years in a federal prison for fraud).
The rest of the day was spent in malls, 'scouting'. It did seem unusual to me that I would be trusted to talk to potential clients with so little training. Day after that was Saturday, the first 'open call' I was required to attend. Rather a fantasy scene, in retrospect. 40 or so people of various ages and 'looks' were in attendance. After they filled out information sheets, had some digital photos and their measurements taken, they were directed into a large room to sit and listen to 'Derrick's' speech about the 'industry'. He walked the room and glanced at the teeth of those who were there for 'commercial modeling'...those with bad teeth were taken aside and told they wouldn't be able to work in that industry.
Now that I think about it, what is it REALLY about people who want to model, but have a need for dental work??? Obviously...THEY DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY!!! I could go on and on, but to make a long story short. I was to report to the office this morning for more 'training', when I was approached in the parking lot by another employee who I hadn't seen since Friday. She seemed upset, gave me this web address and a few others and asked me to search Yahoo and Google myself to see the facts of this scam. Her motivation? She had been referred to this 'company' by the very same personnel agency as I had.
The arrangement between this agency and Wilhelmina Scouting was that Wilhelmina would pay the agency their 'finders fee' if she worked out and stayed at least 30 days. Incidentally, Friday was her 29th day. Need I say more?
Anytown, New Jersey