Updated: Aug 23, 2019
The worst kind of people are the kind who prey on other's dreams. They know that their prey is hoping to one day make it big, find their "big break", and use that to their advantage. Absolute scum.
I made a post on my personal Facebook page and on my Instagram warning model friends of a couple that was/is hiring models to learn how to play guitar and to play in their band with them, all while drugging their drinks, forcing them to sleep in the same bed with them, assaulting and stealing from them, etc. (You can find the post here) I too fell into a scam, though fortunately not a physical/potentially life threatening one like these ladies went through. I think it was either my first or second year of modeling seriously, and a woman reached out to me on Facebook (I think she found me through one of the Facebook modeling groups) saying that I had potential and that she worked for big companies like Agent Provocateur, Cosmo etc. She/he then created fake casting calls on Skype with said companies to get videos of me in lingerie. I had my suspicions, but at that point in my career I had a mantra of , "You'll miss every opportunity you don't take" which, while good in theory, is not perfect. There were several red flags which I for some reason refused to ackowledge. The first was that with these Skype "casting calls" it was one way only, meaning I couldn't see them or hear them, they could only see and hear me. They communicated via the chat only. Their reason for this was that they were using a special "plugin" that was still a work in progress, and that for my safety if the other party tried to record or take a screenshot of me the call would end. The back of my mind was saying, "That's not how Skype works!" but I chose to suppress this.
Red flag two was that they pretended to be transparent yet refused to send any references or selfies with my name on it (I requested it) for "safety reasons". The photos they sent me were all of a generic model that frankly, anyone could have stolen. They seemed bothered by the fact that I didn't trust them, and threatened to drop me as a potential so that I wouldn't "waste their time". My casting call with my contact from Agent Provocateur consisted of me walking around and posing in lingerie, and taking off my bra to show the shape of my boobs for them see "how it would look in the lingerie." I covered up with my hands for this though. After my "casting call" the contact communicated with my agent that I would need more training in being more sexy. My agent said she knew someone who has trained many famous models, and that they could put me in contact with them but only, "If I was truly dedicated" and "It would have to be soon".
So again, idiot I was, I decided to talk to this "modeling coach" which was, I'm pretty sure, the same person but under a different name. They wanted to teach me how to bring out my "sexy side" by having me practice different expressions (again, this was a one way Skype video/voice call) and at one point they wanted me to put a banana in my mouth so that I could get more legitimate expressions. I was uncomfortable with this, so I pretended I didn't have one and grabbed a random hairspray bottle instead. I tried to ask this "modeling coach" about the agent who contacted me (you know, in case somehow this was actually legit) and they told me that it would be childish if I asked them for a selfie with my name on it, or any proof that they are who they say they are, and suspiciously tried to over-convince me not to do that. I started putting everything together when I noticed this modeling coach had the same typing mannerisms as the agent, using things like "hihi" as a laugh instead of hehe and using "blabla" alot. I'm on the internet A LOT, so I pick up on people's different typing styles. The sad thing is that it was realizing this that I finally realized this person was the same and was full of shit.
Third red flag was once I was starting to get tired of this shit, and kept trying to drill the agent for information. I mentioned that my boyfriend worked closely with police (well kinda, he is security for a big company) and that if they were so transparent as they claimed, why were they withholding information from me? This really put them on the defensive, which furthered my suspicions. I told them I needed to think a while longer before I decided to continue my sessions on learning how to become more "sexy", and they said they would give me a day. I ended up blocking them and putting them on blast on the modeling Facebook groups I was in, but its easy enough for them to just make another fake Facebook profile, unfortunately. The whole time I was excited about this potential opportunity, but I did not want to tell anyone about it due to the things that this person was making me do. The fact that I had to walk around/pose in lingerie on a Skype where I COULD NOT SEE OR HEAR THE OTHER PERSON, and practice sexy faces and poses and attempt to do oral with a banana....yeah I was dumb. The scary part was how much effort this person was willing to put into scamming women. The multiple profiles, Skype calls, conversations, usually I just get sent a generic copy/paste email or text along with a pretty blank social media, but this went a bit more above and beyond. Absolutely disgusting and terrifying at the same time. I'm pretty sure the end goal of this dude was either to use women to jerk off to or to sell footage of them to porn/camgirl websites. Luckily I don't think any of my material was good enough to be used, I don't feel like I did anything that could be reputation ruining but the thought still haunts me.
Be safe out there everyone, and yes, even though everyone says it, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If you wouldn't feel comfortable explaining what you are doing to other people, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T BE DOING IT! Also, if this has happened to you before, please do not blame yourself. Treat it as a learning experience and use it as inspiration and fuel to warn other models (veteran or aspiring) so that the same thing will not happen to them. If you would like to share your stories, feel free to reach out to me here, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through any of my social medias. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/atombombbody/ Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/atombombbody Twitter: https://twitter.com/AtomBombBody Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AtomBombBody/