Call 11 For Action: Scam targets starstruck model hopefuls - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Call 11 For Action: Scam targets starstruck model hopefuls

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(WTOL) – Some scammers are taking advantage of people with stars in their eyes.

Jennifer Case, 14, was told she had what it takes to be a model. A scout approached her and her mother at a mall in New Jersey with what seemed like an opportunity of a lifetime.

"She kept saying Jennifer has the look, the look for a lot of companies. They're going to like her," said Jennifer's mom Ilene Case.

But they were told to get started they needed to pay $875 for a photo shoot and another $300 to post the shots on the company's website.

"They said, ya know, that she would get jobs out of it and the jobs make money," said Case.

After six months, not even one prospect called for a modeling job.

"I spent all this money and absolutely nothing has come out of it," Case said.

The same thing happened to Robert Anderson from Los Angeles. He paid $800 for photos from a model management company and was promised work would come. It never did.

"I got hooked. I got sucked in, basically," admitted Anderson.

The Better Business Bureau said it has received 2,000 complaints over the last three years from consumers who felt ripped off by modeling agencies. The top complaint: Paying large fees for headshots but getting little or no modeling work in return.

Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Mark Lambert has been battling fraud in the talent industry for more than a decade. He said legitimate agencies never ask a model to pay money upfront.

"If they ask you to pay a penny, there's something wrong there and you shouldn't do it," explained Lambert.

That is information Case wishes she had before.

"I'm embarrassed that I fell for it, but I'm taking it as a lesson learned - an expensive lesson learned," said Case.

A state attorney general is investigating 200 different complaints about the company that Case said took advantage of her.

The company that approached Anderson is located in California and was prosecuted and forced to pay restitution to the victims of its scam.

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