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Tips for Avoiding Online Scam Posts

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Nowadays, you can never be too careful when you’re searching for gigs online – and most are posted online.  It can be difficult to decipher between what’s real and what’s not, which can be scary.  You don’t want to put yourself in a bad situation.  Here are some red flags to look out for:

Limited Information. Always be leery of any posting that isn’t very detailed.  If you are just given a generic email address and a time to show up, try to do more research before you head to the address.  If you inquire and still don’t receive details, it’s best to pass.

Shady Sites. While some sites offer clients the option to post a gig for free, it’s often on these sites that illegitimate posters lure unsuspecting talent.  Scam posts typically involve a $300 fee and/or the wording will be very salesy – i.e., ‘Make $300 in just three hours!’  Submitting your information to these listings could mean handing it right over to someone who does not have your best intentions in mind.

Long Distance. If there is no way of communicating with the individual in-person, even if it means having a Skype interview, this is a definite red flag.  If you were to apply to any other job, you would want to know all the details before accepting it, right?  And you would want to meet someone with whom you’d be working ahead of time.  Trust your intuition.

Upfront Fees. You should never wire money in advance for a wardrobe, plane ticket, hotel, or any other expense.  If you are required to send money online before you book a gig, you are dealing with a scam artist.

Confusing Contact Details. If a posting is asking for extras for a shoot in California, but the business number is nonexistent and the company’s address is foreign, this should give you pause.  Look into things further before giving out your own contact information.

What’s the Project Again? No project information means there’s no project.  While you might not be given all of the details upfront, you should at least know what’s expected of you if you respond.  Make sure you have a solid understanding of the role you’re applying for and how it fits into the bigger picture.  A post listing just the company information without any indication of what the client is casting for is not okay.

In today’s digital world, you really can never be too careful.  If something doesn’t feel right, chances are it’s not.  Consider your safety first and make sure you get enough information to ensure the casting and the client are legitimate to avoid taking a risk you may regret.

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