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How to Avoid an Entertainment Scam

Avoiding entertainment scams is not always easy and it may take time and effort to discover whether or not an entertainment opportunity is a scam. Efforts to avoid entertainment scams while looking for opportunities can amount to a majority of the work when attempting to be discovered for stardom within the entertainment industry. It is estimated that one out of every ten entertainment organizations are legitimate while the factitious racketeering organizations appear a dime a dozen. Even companies that involve a large amount of employees can be entertainment scams in the form of large racketeering businesses. You may have to invest a large amount of time before you recognize that the situation is a scam or the situation may be apparent up front. Despite the amount of time that you have invested in the organization it is paramount to avoid the monetary scam that is the goal of the company or con artists intentions.

The following is a list of ways to avoid falling into the deceit of a con artist:

How to Avoid an Entertainment Scam

1) Do Not Provide Them With Your Personal Information

Con artist use your own personal information against you so do not give your information until you are able to decipher if the opportunity is a scam or a legitimate operation. By providing con artist personal information you are enabling them to know where you work, your background info, where you live, your email, and phone number. The con artist will then use the information to harass you and if the con artist is rejected may give the scammer a means to threaten, harass, and steal from you. Many scammers will even request invasive information like past work history, basic financial information, etc. to attempt to obtain your social security number, tax information, and access to your banking or credit accounts. If you confront these individuals they will use information to black mail you into not contacting the police or consistently intimidate you at your residence, email, or by phone to avoid being arrested and prosecuted.

2) Verify the Information They Provide You

If they give you an agency card or any other information do your research. Start your search by doing a broad search on the web for reviews and be wary of any organization or promoter with a lack of information or reviews. You have a right to interview the company and receive a copy of their business license number. You may use this information to verify a company with the Better Business Bureau—even entertainment recruiting organizations require business licenses. If you are unable to get the license number which should be publically visible then you may contact the Better Business Bureau to verify the legitimacy of the organization—if the agency doesn’t appear on their records in the county the headquarters is located then you are looking at a scam. If you are approached by an individual and you are able to get their contact information and age you may contact the police department to run a federal criminal background check on the individual that approached you. Many times con artist will have a long criminal rap sheet, for scams or other criminal offenses, which can become discoverable with a simple background check. Police Investigations may also be able to notify you if there are other reports of criminal fraud in relation to this organization. However, most recidivist con artist will give false information so if you are unable to find out more about this person or obtain a copy of their identification then you may be dealing with a potential con artist.

3) Don’t Sign Anything Until You Have a Contract Reviewed

Contracts are legal documents and must be reviewed by legal professionals. Most con- agencies will require you to sign within a limited time frame or sign without reviewing the specific language within a document. In Georgia a contract can be legally binding even if the intentions within the contract are to deprive and defraud. Do not sign a contract with a company without reading the contract or without a legal professional being present/ reviewing the specific legal language of the document. In the event of a later legal dispute a contract may be used as evidence to protect the con artist from your claims of fraud or illegal activity—if it’s in the contract and you signed it then it can become binding.

4) Avoid Agencies:


Avoid agencies that lack a local headquarters and are traveling state to state or coast to coast. These types of agencies are known to frequently relocate to avoid the authorities in relation to their criminal activities. Traveling agencies can also change their names multiple times to elude authorities and hide their criminal intent. Also avoid individuals that claim that they have recently relocated to the area to start up a new chapter of their entertainment industry etc.

Missing Information

Don’t sign on with agencies or individuals that lack significant amounts of accreditation or provide you with missing information. Individuals that provide you high promises for casting calls or sports tryouts but then fail to follow through or recant their opportunities for lowered expectations are con- artist at work. This is the con artist way of luring you in to their trap and increasing your drive to achieve what was initially promised despite the cost.

Payment Requirements

Any form of payment requirement, casting call fee, tryout fee, equipment fee, portfolio fee, coaching fee, agency evaluation, portfolio fee, photography fee, etc. is a scam and is a way for the racketeers to get your money or your credit information. True business arrangements in the entertainment industry will not require any form of fee or any financial incentives to promote you for entertainment careers. An Entertainment outlet or agent/ scout that requires you to make payments for any form of their service, equipment, or promotion is participating in a scam with the intent to profit from your goal of achieving a career in the entertainment industry.

If you believe that you may have been approached or contacted by a scam agency or individual you should verify the information they have provided you. If you have already made payments to the con artist it is important to also notify your bank to stop any apparent fraudulent activities and investigate/ reverse any fraudulent charges that may have taken place against your accounts. If you have signed a contract with a possible con artist or agency it is necessary to take legal measures to protect yourself and your finances. In the instance of entertainment fraud it is imperative that you contact an attorney with sports and entertainment law experience; as well as, notifying the police of fraudulent activity.