Models Direct Horrified By Sick Modelling Scam

Once again modelling employment agency Models Direct have been horrified this week by reports relating to a cruel modelling scam.

Models Direct - BIS regulated modelling employment agency
Models Direct - BIS regulated modelling employment agency

Once again modelling employment agency Models Direct has been horrified this week by reports relating to a cruel modelling scam. A man has been approaching young women on the internet, gaining their trust by calling himself ‘Catherine Johnson’ and falsely claiming to be a scout for Chadwick Models.

One 18-year-old woman – who has requested that the media refer to her as Summer to protect her and her family – was approached and asked if she would like to appear in Marie Claire magazine before a series of images were demanded. “I think that deep down I knew it wasn’t really right, I knew something was wrong but I just wanted to believe that it was real,” she told The Australian News.

“Every time I sent her photos she would say something was wrong and I had to lose more clothing. If I questioned it, she would threaten me with the fact that I was running out of time and I won’t get the spot.”

Eventually the sickening con artist revealed that he was male and threatened to publish Summer’s images or send them to her family – whose contacts she had sent him as references – unless she agreed to have sex with him.

“I broke down. I didn’t really know what to think. I just started screaming and crying, I didn’t know what to do. All I could think was my family …it was really horrible,” she said of the nightmarish incident.

“I’ve always perceived myself as quite street smart. You never know how manipulating someone could be because I believed him and now that I’ve looked over it I realise that it was quite stupid … but caught in the moment you think nothing … you just think it’s real and you believe it so you do anything it takes.”

Sadly modelling scams are not as rare as one would hope, but reputable and genuine modelling employment agencies simply do not approach potential models in this way. Legitimate modelling agencies are regulated by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Always thoroughly check the credentials of anyone who claims to represent or work for a modelling agency and be extremely vigilant at all times when using the internet, which is a hotbed for scams of all kinds.

Damian O’Connor, Managing Director of Models Direct, says: “Stories like this are sickening and horrifying and we sincerely urge both parents and teens to be vigilant at all times. If you or your teen have ambitions to be a model please research any potential representation and confirm that they are regulated by the BIS. You cannot afford to trust anyone online that you have not thoroughly checked out.”

Summer added: “If you question it at all, anything in your stomach feels like it’s not right, it’s not. I felt that and I didn’t do anything about it and I should have.”

If you have any concerns about modelling scams like this one please report them to the police immediately.