Wannabe models warned about bogus talent scouts

WANNABE models have been warned to be on the lookout for bogus talent scouts posing as representatives from one of Ireland’s top agencies.

Directors of Lockdown Model Agency, Emer O’Sullivan and Vivienne Kelly, said they are “seriously alarmed” by reports they have received in the last few weeks from young girls and boys about such incidents.

The youngsters are being asked to send personal details and photographs to so-called “scouts” posing as Lockdown representatives. They have set up a Facebook page to encourage wannabe models to sign up.

“As former models ourselves, we urge people to exercise extreme caution in cases like this as we know how flattering it can be to be approached. If emailed by someone posing as an agent and you are asked to send over images and personal information, research the agency thoroughly and make sure they are a registered company,” said Ms O’Sullivan.

Lockdown has reported the situation to the gardaí and are using their Facebook pages and email to warn clients and friends.

Lockdown said two young males were approached recently while on a night out in Castlegregory by a woman saying her name was Georgina and that she worked for Lockdown Models in Cork. The agency said this is just one of many reported incidents.

“Only Vivienne and I approach potential models directly with our credentials and company details.

“We pass our details to the potential model, or to their parent or guardian if under the age of 17 and ask them to contact us — not send us any personal information — just contact us to arrange a professional meeting. It is quite a rare occurrence that we would do this however,” said Ms O’Sullivan.

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