If you want to be a model you have to be cautious. All kind of people may try to exploit your ambition and lack of experience by promising you a carreer, but will actually just try to take your money without providing something real in return. Some classic modelling scams have been described by Wolf Kettler on his website. He describes how fake agencies will offer to manage you for a fee, or try to sell you a portfolio.

Now a new type of modelling scam has emerged. If you fall for it it will take your money, your time and even your dignity.

This is how it works:

Scenario 1: webcam chatter

In some way somebody approaches you looking for models (or actresses, or hostesses, or something else). For instance you read an advertisement in a magazine from a modelling agency looking for new faces. They will look for young women of at least 18 years old, speaking english or another western european language.

If you apply they will have an intake with you. There they will offer you work. But it will not be a classic modelling assignment. Instead they want you to chat on webcam on the internet. They will tell you people will want to talk to you and are willing to pay you money for that. Then they offer you a contract outlining the details. You will be in their work place for some time, a few days, a week, maybe a month, and you will be chatting on 1 or more websites. They will offer you a percentage of what you earn. They may tell you you can make a large amount of money doing it. Because you will be talking to rich foreigners you will need to speak english, spanish, german or other languages. They may describe it as modelling, acting, promotion, maybe even tv, and your face will be known all over the world.

Then, when you arrive at work on your first day, you will be put on your workspot and you will start chatting. You hope your visitors will start paying you for your polite and lucid conversation. But nobody will actually do that. Instead people do all kind of sexual requests. Without informing you they have put you on a sex site.

They told you you can make money only chatting on that site. And that is true. But in most cases it is not a lot. They “forgot” to tell you you would be on a website that is mainly used for sex for money.

Suddenly being on there only a week or a month seems endless. It turns out you will not make your target if you just chat. You will be left with a considerable debt if you don't make the target. You can not quit, because you will have to pay for costs if you do. So you are stuck. If you want to make money or at least not end up with a debt you will have to comply with the wishes of the visitors, and show nudity and perform sexual acts. If you want it or not.

Instead of a modelling agency, the company turns out to be a cam studio. That is a company that facilitates people performing on webcam for money. What seemed like a nice side job starting your carreer turns out to be a trap in an online brothel.

Scenario 2: webcam chatter on sex sites

In many cases the cam studio will be honest with you and tell you you will be on sex sites. Obviously if they tell you you will be there only to chat that will be just the same deception as scenario 1. They may call it flirt or dating sites, so you are not immediately aware of the adult character. But even if they do tell you you will have to do sexual things to get money, it may still be a scam.

First of all they will not really offer you a job or an assignment. That would mean they would pay you an hourly fee or a salary, and in most countries social securtity and part of your taxes. Instead they sell you time at the studio. They leave you a percentage, but the rest they will take as rent for a workspot at their outfit. You will bear all the risk. If you do not make money they will not support you. Instead they will charge you.

Decent cam studios may only take 25% or less of your earnings, but some studios take up to 90%. If you live in a poor country, 10% of the proposed earnings may sound like a good deal. But in reality the earnings may not even be close to what is proposed. Your actual income may turn out really low.

They will not tell you you can easily do this at home. All you need to be on those sites is fast internet, a computer, a cam and some privacy. If you have that at home you do not need the cam studio at all. And if you don't, you should ask yourself if a large percentage of your income is really a fair price to get it at the studio.

Some cam studios will charge you money for the usernames they make for you on the websites. But most (if not all) websites they will put you on are free to access, and a broadcaster user will be free to make. Even websites that charge money for visitors of the chatrooms (paysites) will not charge money for the broadcaster users. The costs are only there to keep you from walking away from the studio.

In some cases you will also sign away your freedom to be on the websites on your own account. Many studios will not allow you to be active on the websites outside them for a year after you quit.

So this is basically a scam similar to the modelling scams Wolf Kettler outlined. They sell you a deceptive service you don't really need for too much money, under false pretences.

Binding by debt, offering a fake job and making it look different from what it actually is, is a common method for human traffickers. It seems cam studios often use similar techniques to practicians of that modelling scam. Cam studios will usually not displace you or bring you to another country. Still you can say this way of recruiting and forcing people to stay is a form of human trafficking or slavery.

A cam studio will not help you in your modelling carreer in any way.

Read More: