Are you as fed up with scam artists as I am?
It feels like the liars have taken over the world. My days are filled with fake package delivery texts, fake doctors following me on Instagram, fake Microsoft emails urging me to change my password …
Things hit a new low yesterday when someone scammed the eldest out of $500.
The eldest is searching for a job and found an ad on SEEK from a modelling agency that said it was looking for new talent.
Within 20 seconds of sending over a selfie, the agency called the eldest and booked an interview for the next day. The eldest was very excited and headed over there to meet with them.
I didn’t think much of it because the eldest is very tall and striking – it seemed plausible … until I got a call from the eldest to say the interview had gone well, with the agent signing him up for a modelling course that he’d agreed to pay for in instalments, since he doesn’t have a cent to his name.
Alarm bells rang.
My ex also rang.
He’d been told the news too and was certain it was a scam.
Whether it’s a scam or not, I think it’s pretty reprehensible to trick unemployed 18 year olds into signing documents that commit them to forking out of hundreds of dollars.
I checked the modelling agency’s Instagram account and it was pretty abysmal – lots of average photos of people who want to be models, but don’t quite have “the look”. There were lucky to be seven likes on each one.
Not a good sign.
Still, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and texted my friend Ken the fashion stylist, to ask if the agency was legit.
Ken had just landed in London, on his way to Milan for a shoot. It’s been a long time between overseas assignment so he was pretty pumped. He said he’d never heard of the agency and gave me the names of four reputable agencies to approach.
By that stage the eldest had followed my advice, checked the Instagram account, blanched and asked his father for help.
My ex has spent much of his career eviscerating miscreants in his role as an investigative reporter. He is relentless and terrifying in his pursuit of the truth, which comes in very handy for the awkward conversations I prefer to avoid.
It’s another reason why I’m glad we’ve made the effort to have an amicable divorce. We can call each other when the kids have a problem and try to solve it together.
Hopefully we can sort this latest snafu without too much drama.
Anyways, so this blog post is a little warning to remind your kids not to sign financial agreements on the spot and to be very wary about ads promising modelling careers.
Oh, and also for any seasoned adults out there who are tempted to think that a brain surgeon or army general actually wants to follow them on social media and become their bestie … nah …
I go by the rule that if it sounds too good to be true, be very suspicious.
Song of the day: Madonna “Vogue”