Social Media

Do Model Agents Scout on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

Every day we receive emails and phone calls from models wondering if the person who contacted them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or through other social media sites is a legitimate modeling agent or scout.
The person who contacted the model may say they are from a top model agency such as Ford Models, Elite Models, IMG Models, Wilhelmina, the latest Fashion TV and even MSA Model Management & Agency. They use the companies and ask the model to send photos.

How can a model discern between what’s fake and what’s real?

Here are some tips to help you protect yourself and know how to separate the real agents from the fakes.

1. Real Agents & Scouts NEVER Scout Through Social Media

Ok, maybe “never” is too strong a word, but the chances that a real agent or scout has randomly found you and then taken the time to contact you through social media is possible but you need to know who they are and make sure if the company is real, the person work for a real company or at least affiliated and registered by the company!!!

Real agents and scouts are much too busy managing their existing models and scouting on established modeling websites where they know that the models they find are serious about a modeling career, that they rarely, if ever, have time to search millions of photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media sites looking for potential models. We on the other hand has over 25 scouts all over the world and did give us scout permission as long as it is done with integrity and that they do not abuse the Facebook right of use.. If the scout is not on our website they not legit. All they allowed to do is refer you to the online application period!!

But, let’s say you’ve been contacted – what should you do?

2. The Email Address Should Match The Company

When a real agent or scout contacts you by email their email address should match the company exactly. For example, when we contact a model it will only be from email addresses in the form of: “prefix”@modellingsouthafrica.co.za. If the email does not end with “modellingsouthafrica.co.za” then it is not from our company. Real agents almost NEVER use email addresses from Yahoo, Hotmail, Google or AOL accounts. If the person is using an email address that ends with gmail.com, hotmail.com, yahoo.com, etc. and not the company’s actual domain name, then you should be very suspicious.

3. Contact the Agency or Modelling South Africa (PTY) Ltd Directly

One of the tricks the fakers will use is to give you the real contact information for the companies they claim to represent. They are hoping that when you see that information in their email or post that you will take their word for it and won’t check them out. ALWAYS contact the company directly to verify that the person who contacted you actually works for the company, then go a step further and ask to speak to that person directly.

If a real agent did contact you they will be happy to hear from you and will have no problem answering your questions. Remember to use the phone number or email address listed on the real company’s website or in the phone book. Do not use the contact information the potential faker sent you.

Don’t be afraid to verify the identity of the person who has contacted you. Real agents and scouts don’t mind if you check them out, and will actually respect you more if you do.

4. NEVER Send Underwear or Nude Shots

When a new model is contacted by a potential agent or scout they are often so excited that all common sense goes out the window. Don’t let your excitement get the better of you.

Fakers often start out by asking you to send regular modeling shots, then they will ask for shots of you in your bikini or underwear. Once they know you are willing to do that, the next thing you know they are asking you for nude shots or to pose naked on a webcam. OMG! Don’t ever do this!

While it is not uncommon for real agents to ask for shots of you in a swimsuit, REAL AGENTS WILL NEVER ASK YOU TO SEND UNDERWEAR OR NUDE PHOTOS OR TO POSE NAKED ON A WEBCAM.

If someone contacts you through Facebook or other social media sites and asks you to send underwear or nude photos, or pose naked on a webcam they are not legitimate agents / Scouts.

5. NEVER Meet an Agent Alone or Outside Their Office

If an agent or scout wants to meet you in person make sure that a) you take someone with you and b) meet them at their known office address or in a public place. We prefer the first meeting to be in a public place and again if you not sure contact US FIRST!!

Having said that, it is not unusual for international model scouts to meet new models in a hotel lobby or hotel room. But, NEVER go to a hotel room to meet an agent without your mother agent or without your mother agent’s approval.

6. Only Work With Reputable Scouting Companies

Finding a reputable modeling company to work with can be a daunting task for a new model. Sending photos directly to modeling agencies can be very confusing and time-consuming and models often find that their choices are limited to taking expensive and unnecessary photos or modeling classes. Working with an experienced and established scouting company like MSA Model Management & Agency (PTY) Ltd. is a great way for new models to get their start.

At MSA Model Management & Agency (PTY) Ltd our agents have over 7 years experience and have scouted 100’s of new models to the very best modeling agencies worldwide. The safety of our models is extremely important to us and we take great steps to insure our models are only being seen and represented by the most important and legitimate modeling agencies.

7. DO NOT always believe what you read, see or hear from people, media and random friends

It is always good to do research and see what people say about companies or people, it does not mean that it is true and our advice is to always get physical facts preferably in writing. We have seen how the media can twist and manipulate situations and make a story from it. We have witnessed many models telling lies to benefit them. We have also seen and actually have written proof how some photographers got people to set people up… It is so important that you make sure you do not get stripped of an opportunity just because you fear what people have to say.

FACTS and NOTHING ELSE!!

If you ever get a person, social media pages or random people telling you stories and it looks to believable make sure you dig deeper and get both sides of the story. We believe that the authorities in our country are well equipped to take justice when its due and you must always put your trust in them.

Thank you

Modelling South Africa (PTY) Ltd.