Avoiding Scams: The Basics

This video and article are intended to inform you of the very basics of how to avoid scams.

Model Mayhem Employees, Moderators and Gatekeepers

Model Mayhem is owned by MH Sub I, LLC dba Model Mayhem, Inc.

Model Mayhem employees will only contact you using an email address or from our validated social media accounts on FacebookInstagramVIP Instagram, or . Do not respond to people or emails claiming to be from Model Mayhem that use any other email address, for example Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail, or any social media accounts that are not our verified, legitimate accounts. Known Model Mayhem email addresses include: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected][email protected].

We will never contact you to offer you a job and we will never request your MM password.

Moderators will only contact you via Mod Messages on Model Mayhem. Please flag any other messages claiming to be from Model Mayhem staff or Mods.

Gatekeepers only have the ability to approve profiles on Model Mayhem.

A Video about Scams!

Avoiding Scams: The basics
from Model Mayhem on Vimeo.

Model Mayhem will never send you an email asking for your login information. If you receive an email that seems to be from Model Mayhem asking you to click a link and enter your password information, do NOT click the link and mark the message as SPAM.

Phishing: First Step to Scams

Scammers get into Model Mayhem accounts by stealing your login information. This is commonly referred to as phishing or hacking.
How does phishing work?

  1. You may get an email that seems to be from Model Mayhem. The email may state that it is from Model Mayhem, including the Model Mayhem branding, but when you check the actual email address is NOT from*
  2. You may also get a PM from another member who has already been phished.
  3. The email or PM asks you to send back your login information or click a link that seems to go to Model Mayhem, where you need to login to continue.
  4. The website looks exactly like Model Mayhem.
  5. You send your password back in an email OR you click the link and enter your login information on a site that looks like Model Mayhem.
  6. The next thing you know, your profile has been taken over by someone else!

* Note: Some official emails from Model Mayhem may come from an email that is @ibemail or something similar. This is because Model Mayhem is owned by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. If you have any questions about the email just log-in and ask a moderator! Also, some companies are Certified Partners of Model Mayhem. As such, they are authorized to ask for Model Mayhem login information in order to provide services for members. It is safe to supply Model Mayhem login information to these Certified Partners. Here is the complete list of Certified Partners.

How do you avoid getting phished?

  1. Never, ever, ever share your password with anyone. Ever! No one but YOU needs it.
  2. Don’t use the same password on your Model Mayhem account as you do on other accounts.
  3. Change your password at least every two months.
  4. Don’t click any unfamiliar links in any email, including links appearing to be to Model Mayhem.
  5. Don’t download any files from an unknown sender.
  6. Only log in to Model Mayhem from – and nowhere else!

This message asks you to click a link and login to MM, but notice that the link DOES NOT go to MM. DO NOT click the link and DO NOT enter your login info. Clicking the link and entering your information is how your Model Mayhem account will be hijacked!

This is what you would see if you do click on the link. This is a “spoof” of MM – it looks just like MM to trick you into logging in. LOOK at the address in the address bar, it is clearly NOT

If you get a message on MM like this one, please find the “flag message” link under the message and right above the “send reply” box.

How do I know I’ve personally been phished?

  1. You may receive PMs with replies from other members you never messaged.
  2. Your outbox will have messages you never sent in it.

Help! I’ve been phished! What do I do?

  1. Don’t panic! The mods are here to help kick the scammer out of your profile and get you back in.
  2. If the mods haven’t sent you a message already, click the Help button at the top of the site and click Contact a Moderator.
  3. Let the mods know that you think your account has been compromised, and then follow their instructions carefully.

If you follow the tips here, your account information should be safe and you shouldn’t get phished or hacked again.

Scams: The Reason for Phishing

Once someone takes control over someone’s account, the scammer gets to work right away. They start sending out a flood of messages intended to essentially lie, cheat, and steal. This behavior has been around for a long time – almost since the invention of the internet!

The best weapon against these scams is knowledge. Knowing what a scam might look like or ask for helps you spot a scam and protect yourself, your account, and your wallet!

Common Scams and How They Work

Pre-Payment “Nigerian” scams

A wealthy Nigerian prince is offering to send you a check to deposit in your bank account if you’d only send him a small amount back! Or, as more commonly reported for targets in the modeling industry, a recruiter or agent from Cosmo/Revlon/Monster/Allure/HelloMag contacts you and they have a job just for you. The catch with both of these scams is that you just need to forward your banking or mailing information so you can receive a check!

These scams are all the same… except the offer is typically from a trusted person or business (so you can trust them) that wants to pre-pay to work with you. You may also get an unsolicited email about this work, or someone may PM you and ask you to email someone and then they provide the details over email. Learn to spot these red flags!

Here’s how to spot a Nigerian Check Scam:

  1. The scammer will ask you to generally always want to send you a check – before meeting you or even signing a contract!
  2. You are informed that you get to keep a large portion of the check. Payday!!!
  3. However, you are also told that once you cash the check you have to send someone else (a makeup artist, a hair stylist, a wardrobe stylist, a studio) a “small portion” as their fee.
  4. You may also be asked to send a portion of the check back because of an overpayment or some other reason.

Red Flags:

  • The scammer claims to be a trusted person or is working for a big brand, even though their email does not appear to be from that person or brand.
  • The scammer wants to pay you in advance for work you haven’t even done yet. Nice, right?
  • All you have to do is give them your mailing information so they can send you a check.
  • You may also be asked for your banking info so they can send you a direct deposit.
  • You will likely be asked to send a portion of the check back.

Understand it:

  • That check is fake!
  • Your bank will bounce the fake check and you will be liable for the money.
  • Giving out your banking information can result in money being stolen directly from your account!

Bottom line:

No legitimate industry professional is going to hire someone unknown to them, sight unseen, and pay them in advance for a modeling/photography/makeup job. If you follow through with this scam, you will send the scammer YOUR real money and will have to pay back whatever they stole.

What to do:

If you’ve realized the scam before you’ve sent any information, you’re in the clear. If you sent them your mailing information, or have already received a check, take anything you get to your local police station and file a report. You can also contact Model Mayhem and report the account that sent you the message that initiated the scam.

Social Media “Nude Selfies” Scams

A photographer, agent, or manager just found you on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat, and they want to shoot you! But first, can you just send over a few nude selfies of yourself via Whatsapp, or cell?

You may also get an unsolicited email with this scam, or someone may PM you here on Model Mayhem with the same request. Learn to spot these red flags!

Here’s how to spot a Social Media Scam:

  1. The scammer will cold contact you via your social media profiles – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. They may ask you for your cell phone or Whatsapp number.
  2. They really, really want to set up a shoot with you! It’ll have a big payday, awesome!
  3. However, before they shoot they just need you to send over your current look. Could you send over a few nude selfies for them?
  4. Once you send over the selfies, you may start getting harassing messages from the scammer, or from other people.

Red Flags:

  • The scammer contacts you out of the blue via social media and claims to be interested in working with you.
  • They will probably send you the credentials of a real person to give them legitimacy, probably a public Model Mayhem profile or other legitimate agent or manager.
  • The scammers will likely give you a phone number or email address, one that is not associated with the person they stole the identity of.
  • You will most likely be asked to send nude images of yourself – probably selfies.

Understand it:

  • The nude images you send them will either be sold without your permission, or be used for blackmail against you.
  • The real people involved have no idea their name is being used by the scammers!

Bottom line:

No legitimate industry professional is going to contact you via social media and immediately ask you for nude images. If you follow through with this scam, you will send the scammer nude images that you cannot unsend, and they will have those images forever to either sell or possibly blackmail you with.

What to do:

Be vigilant! Always check references BEFORE you send anyone any images. If someone on social media claims to be somebody, check out that person online and call, email, and thoroughly check before you continue talking with the person who contacted you. Remember, YOU are ultimately responsible for what you send to other people, so YOU are in control over whether you become a victim or not.

Up-Front Fee “Mystery Shopper” scams

This is a typical scam that might be tricky to spot, as not every situation that meets these criteria is a scam.

Here’s how to spot a Mystery Shopper scam:

  1. The scammer wants to recruit you (for an agency, for a huge photo shoot or seminar, etc.) for a job.
  2. You will probably be asked to send money before signing a contract for administrative or seminar fees, or for transportation costs.
  3. You may actually meet someone and then be asked to pay in order to start working.

Red Flags:

  • Professionals do not generally make you pay them before you work together.
  • You are not asked to sign a contract or otherwise finalize what you are paying for before you send money.

Understand it:

  • The scammer is counting on your desperation to do anything to get work.
  • By sending money before you have a contract, you do not have any way to prove what you’re paying for.

Bottom line:

Being asked to pay someone before you work with them is always suspicious, and you should always ask for a contract before handing over ANY money.

What to do:

If you’ve realized the scam before you’ve paid any money, then simply decline and move on. If you’ve already sent money or paid the person, you may have to take legal action, assuming the information you were provided is true.

Spyware “Virus” scams

While you may be more likely to see this scam on Facebook or over Twitter, it may happen on Model Mayhem.

Here’s how to spot a Virus scam:

  1. Someone sends you a link to click via PM or email, or you see the link posted in the forums.
  2. Once you click the link, you may be asked to download a file to view a portfolio or roll of images too big to put on Model Mayhem.

Red Flags:

  • Someone you don’t know is asking you to click a link

Understand it:

  • These links can download very harmful viruses and spyware to your computer.
  • This in turn may disrupt the functionality of your computer.
  • You may get phished!

Bottom line:

Always, always be careful about clicking links online, and never download anything from someone without talking to them about it first. If you’re not sure, just don’t click or download!

What to do:

If you do click a link, and think you may have a virus, or actually get a virus or get phished, don’t panic! First, try these free, safe programs, which might help you find the virus on your computer:

Spybot Search and Destroy

If you think you might have been phished, change your password right away and contact the mods.

But is this REALLY a scam?

If you think you might be getting scammed – you probably are! It is always better to be safe than sorry.

You can also use our Forum Search tool and find examples of scams posted by members who have received scam messages.

  1. Open search
  2. Search for the terms “Is this a scam?”
  3. You should find hundreds of threads on the subject.
  4. Read through some of these threads to get a good idea what scams look like.

OK – How do I report a phishing or scam message?

This is the easy part!

  1. If you were sent a PM on Model Mayhem, Flag the PM.
  2. If you were sent an email with a suspicious link asking you to login to Model Mayhem, forward it to [email protected].
  3. Click on the Help! link at the top of the page and click Contact a Moderator.
  4. Send a report to the mods letting them know which profile sent you the scam message and that you reported it.

The mods will take care of the rest. If you have actually been phished by a scammer, we will help you get back into your account.

Other Safety Tips

Don’t publicly use your email address

Do not include your email address on any public section of your profile, or in tags or comments you post. Including your email in a publically accessible place increases the risk of your profile getting hacked into and is also how scammers send you those phishing emails to begin with! People on Model Mayhem can always PM you for your email address.

Did we mention never ever telling anyone your password EVER?

Now enjoy the Mayhem!

Now that you’ve armed with some basic knowledge, you can go about your networking business without worrying about getting ripped off. And if every member of this community understood just these basic things, the scammers would be forced to move on to greener pastures!

Other Resources

In order to better arm yourself against them we recommend that you click these links for further information. It’s not just for models.

NEW MODELS; Learn about scams
What do scams look like?

The New Model’s Guide to the Industry and Scams

Learn more about general scams:

MM Edu

MM Edu brings you tips, advice, and knowledge in modeling, photography, post-production, style/makeup, and Using MM. The expertise comes from our beautiful and brilliant members!

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75 Responses to “Avoiding Scams: The Basics”

  1. October 23, 2018 at 11:57 pm, Princess Hadija said:

    I had somebody contact me called Sabrina Alice who claimed to be a scout for Lucozade sport and they asked for all my personal details. I found it suspicious when they mentioned they would be sending me clothes and kept stressing I needed my genuine address/home address and not work or P.O. Box. They also wanted my full name dob and bank details along with age etc but styled it out by asking for measurements too. The email had many spelling/grammar errors and did not make sense. I emailed back asking for further confirmation before I sent the details and google searched the name/checked the model mayhem profile again which had disappeared!! Nothing was showing on LinkedIn, Facebook of this mysterious woman and I haven’t received a reply with confirmation. Stay safe guys, these scammers are everywhere x


  2. October 16, 2018 at 6:51 pm, Maíra Brito said:

    OMG! I had no idea!!! :O


  3. February 18, 2018 at 1:35 am, William Austin said:

    Greetings, I am an attorney based in Charleston, South Carolina. Clients I represent that are involved in this industry are constantly battling scam artists that are trying, and succeeding in stealing from honest people that are working in a very tough industry to begin with. The biggest problem is that the scams evolve hourly; each day con-artists contrive new scamming methods. Numerous state and federal agencies are battling this on a daily basis. It is important to report your experience to the correct entity. However, in the end, the solution will be a joint industry effort that is always one step ahead scammers with security measures, insurance, and regulations. By security measures, I don’t mean a forum with lots of good advice; rather, a managed comprehensive system provided to models, artists, etc.. (“Talent”) that costs little to nothing to join. I will continue later because I just joined the site. I’m here as an attorney looking to network to find solutions for existing clients. If I were you, I’d think this very post was a scam. It’s not. Give me some time and I’ll prove it.


    • April 26, 2018 at 8:40 am, Dee Annie said:

      Really? ok. I can tell you that a Derek Negroweisse is the biggest scam artist. since he met all criteria as a scam artist, fraud and a simple assaulter as well. and is from Model Mayhem.! Now you tell me how you can prove that some of these people here from Model Mayhem are not scam artists themselves. I just told you that Derek IS ONE!! He plays his games and plays them very well. the man is soo smart. mastermind of scam artistry. you put 2 and 2 together and you have put all the pieces together. this man is a lying seething con artist! and never pays his clients, his partners in business. just a complete FRAUD!!!


      • April 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm, William Austin said:

        Hey Dee Annie, I’m certainly interested to hear your story. I’ll look into your other comments right away. One thing I noticed is that you said this person is German. Do you know his immigration status? That makes a huge impact on your options.


  4. November 28, 2017 at 12:43 am, Becky Telfer said:

    I charge people just to see me….Seeing someone offer me $250/hr is actually half my regular rate…so…I don’t see stuff as a scam if it’s detailed and doesn’t ask for bank info or social security info…just hand my resume over and state that tax information can be done in person.


    • November 28, 2017 at 12:46 am, Becky Telfer said:

      ***Seems like no one actively complains about scams recently…but half a decade ago…wooooo scam central.


  5. May 03, 2017 at 1:35 pm, Krista Blanchard said:

    has anyone got an email for Espirit?


  6. November 13, 2015 at 12:07 pm, Louvensky Geffrard said:

    roiyalimage – my page was hacked and i was suppose to go through the process to get it back but the page kicked me out and i am not able to log back in MM edu can you please help.


  7. June 16, 2015 at 5:51 pm, Anthony said:

    I just received an email from a company called Exclusive Wears, the woman;s name is Miss Shelley Brawn, they want to send me a check for $2,500 to photograph 3 girls in my area, they said I would keep $500.00 and then send the remaining $2,000 to a company that would handle the props equipment etc. Sounds to good to believe!…it sounds like something you would find on craigslist…. beware, has anybody else received this request


  8. September 16, 2014 at 8:08 am, Elizabeth Postale Ravelson said:

    Shoot, I wished I looked at the this before I hit the send button, Can anyone tell me what to expect and what should I do at this point. ughhh, I looked legit. Appreciation to anyones help. Thank you


  9. January 12, 2014 at 6:55 pm, GOTCHYA said:

    (also guys and gals, word of advice…if they tell you to wire/send or whatever to a place…google map it and street view it. It’s a sure fire way to make or break the deal)


  10. May 01, 2013 at 11:11 am, Amy said:




  11. April 18, 2013 at 10:28 am, Luke said:

    So I’ve been on the site for a few days now, and had someone approach me about being represented. He and his agency are located in the UK, and I am in the States. He told me his name, and how we had acted previously but now was an agent. He actually has a IMDb page, with the name he says is his, etc. He offered, and sent me over a contract, but something is telling me this is too good to be true… thoughts?


  12. March 06, 2013 at 5:40 am, Michael Abela Photography said:

    It was high time that someone took the initiative to come up with such a great video. Well done to all those who gave their input.


  13. February 14, 2013 at 2:46 am, Hillary Dickson said:

    This exact thing happened with me. Fake check and all. When I was debating what to do with the check I found this Scam basics and was so glad I did! I called the guy on it (Richard Wales with Seventeen Magazine) and told him it was a scam, even sent him a link to this page and he said he would have to tell his lawyer. Yeah, Ok mister Wale.


  14. January 19, 2013 at 5:21 am, princess said:

    what happens if you already emailed them back asking for more details about a shoot?
    Ignore it?


  15. January 19, 2013 at 5:14 am, Princess said:

    what happens if they send an email through Model Mayhem asking you to email them for more information, not mentioning checks and receiving them before an actual shoot through the mail but like saying ‘you have a great portfolio’ kinda sounding like you have the look their looking for to audition? Does that seem like a scam?


  16. December 19, 2012 at 8:22 am, J Thomps said:

    Obviously no one cares what type of person they are doing business with as long as they get what they want or else no one reads the comments on here . I have stated clearly on here that Stephanie Farah aka “Elliotte Farah” is a known internet scammer and that I have proof of that , yet she continues to gain popularity on here. The world is absolutely full of people who want to say ” watch out for this type of email , it’s a Nigerian scam ” but when it comes down to it ,no body could care less until they become the victim. I think that’s what really gets me , there are 48 post on here about scams and some of the people who have made comments about scams have probably added Stephanie as one of your friends , meanwhile telling yourselves how that what has been written about her by me just can’t be true , and how I could be an exboyfriend that just wants to slander her name . Well even though you wouldn’t believe the truth if GOD ALMIGHTY in Heaven spoke directly to you and told you that everything that I have written about Stephanie is true , I never met her in person , she is good enough at lying that she was able to steal money and something much more valuable to me , simply by talking to me for months on aol im and convincing me that she truly cared . I have tried my very best to warn everyone on here and that is all that I can do , I suppose only time will tell


  17. November 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm, Ireland11 said:

    THIS WAS A SCAM I RECEIVED THIS MONTH AND BEGAN TO FALL FOR BEFORE A FRIEND TOLD ME ALL ABOUT HOW PEOPLE SCAM ON HERE SO LUCKLY I CAUGHT THIS BEFORE THE MONEY TRANSFERS WERE MADE. CAN’T BELIEVE I DID NOT CATCH THIS LONG BEFORE. I HOPE THIS WILL HELP SOMEONE ELSE NOT EVEN GET AS FAR AS I DID CAUGHT UP IN SOMEONES SCAM. What they are trying to do is all illegal and a FRAUDULENT scam to get you to transfer money between accounts and possibly steal money from you. If anyone asks you to do anything like this it is a SCAM!!!! if you receive an email like this do not reply!


    A popular magazine will like to set up a photo shoot with you. Kindly get back to the below email for more details([email protected])

    They will send you an email back stating this:
    How are you doing today? I just want to inform you that you have
    been chosen as our model for the upcoming shooting. Kindly get back to me
    with your measurements as soon as possible so i can forward it to the
    store expertize for your shooting materials. Also, the contract form will be mail to your provided address including with your flight tickets after you have received the payment check, and you are to fill it and mail it back to us before the shooting date.


    Am Benson Joe, am contacting you in regards of Teen Vogue Magazine as a project manager for this upcoming shooting.
    The project is base on a photo shoot for you to display the latest fashions and designers for our next edition. We only need to take your pictures in different posses to update our magazine for the next edition. The shoot would be commence on the Nov 2012, but the shooting date would be depends on your available date. The shoot would be start by 12pm and end up by 4pm. Also, the shoot will be hold in New York but not yet certain with the exact studio, but you will be informed immediately we concluded.
    As a matter of choice, you can come along with anyone of your choice as your escort to the shooting venue. All traveling Expenses, Foods and Accommodations will be cover by the company. Our company will cover all the expenses on your escort as well.
    Flight ticket and accommodation for you and your escort would be book by our company, and you will received all the booking confirmation once it has been booked. Food and other related expenses will be taken care by the company.
    You are not required to do any make up on your own because our company will be providing our personal make up artist to cover all the necessary make up.
    We have our personal photographers to give you the best poses and good shots.
    The company will be paying you a sum of $250 as hourly shooting rate, and your total payment for the four hours shooting is $1000.00.
    Please be notified that your payment would be paid in two installments. We will be sending you a check payment which will include your part payment and the shooting materials fee. You are to deduct the sum of $500 as your part payment, then the remaining balance should be remit by you to the store manager as the outfits payment for the shooting. Immediately the check was cleared you will be given an instruction on how to send the money and your necessary statistics information across to the store expertize. (PLEASE READ OVER THE PAYMENT SECTION AGAIN). We’re entrusting you with the outfits payment because the payment has to go the store in your name in order to make a total corresponding with your other details we will be sending to the store along with your measurement. Also, the shooting materials belongs to you after the shooting.


    Name to be written on check:
    Residence address:(Not Po. Box)
    Apartment number if any:
    City/state/zip code:
    Direct mobile phone number:
    Your available date:
    Your escort name if any:
    Your current occupation:
    Attach pictures:


    • March 19, 2022 at 11:07 pm, Tikeya said:

      Hi, Ireland11. That e-mail you just posted sounds very similar to the one I got on MM from Camila Torres (I had responded to an MM casting call for a skin care campaign), who claimed that I’d been selected to model for the campaign. And that she’d be using a courier service to have my first upfront payment sent. Funny how she got annoyed with me for asking too many questions, and said “Lets discontinue from this moment henceforth. I don’t like being pressurized.” LOL! And I think the person who’d posted that ad in the MM casting calls section had one of those black MM Talent Recruiter avatar pics that I’ve been seeing in a lot of the so-called casting calls.


  18. September 27, 2012 at 1:55 am, J Thomps said:

    Me again , talking about the scammer ” Elliotte Farah ” aka Stephanie Farah and the money that I was scammed out of. I will live without the money but the hurt in my heart that she has caused me , after me begging her not to hurt me emotionally , I may never recover from. How and why would such a beautiful woman lower herself to such a level , I guess I will just never understand , to me money is no where near hurting someone as badly as she knows that she hurt me. I have not written anything to get some sort of revenge but merely hoping that I might find some sort of logical answer . I just simply cannot believe that such a beautiful woman could be so desperate for money that she has to prey on innocent , caring people.
    Why Stephanie , Why.


    • April 26, 2018 at 8:48 am, Dee Annie said:

      oh grow some balls man! stop being a wussy.


  19. September 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm, Jenna Toxic said:

    09/24/12 10:05 AM

    09/24/12 10:05 AM This is a message i recieved the other day from a photographer….does it look like a scam to anyone?
    His profile is new and hasnt been approved yet…so im kind of nervous about it…
    I am a Photographer ,I was browsing on the site,then your picture captured my attention,then I go through your profile.I want participate in Catalogue Photo Shoot which agent give me the assignment,If you are interested,You have 12 different Fashion outfits to cover, which would be provided by our client on the day of the shooting.Please get back to me as soon as possible at [email protected]

    Regarding the Wage aspect, you will be paid the sum of $2500 and I hope you will make this photo shoot a great one through commitment and diligence.I will get back to you with the necessary papers to officialize and legalize this contract ,I look forward hearing from you soon….



    • January 02, 2021 at 1:19 pm, kristy holcomb said:

      It definitely is. It is a Nigerian scam.


  20. September 17, 2012 at 10:23 am, J. Thomps said:

    I had posted previously about Elliotte Farah scamming me out of money , her tool of choice is what is referred to as an “Internet Romance Scam” . When I talked to her by i.m. , she claimed to be an abused 31 yr old , whom had been beaten so severely by her ex boyfriend that she had suffered severe hearing loss. She claimed to live in the U.S.A and even sent me photos of herself with a U of L basketball shirt on and another with a shirt on which says Kentucky on it and has one of the bridges which goes over the Ohio River on it . Like I stated previously , she is from Liverpool UK and has probably never even been to the USA. Be advised , she is a scammer.


  21. September 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm, J. Thomps said:

    I was scammed by someone on here that is currently going by the name Elliotte Farah , Elliotte was her stage name when she worked at Dreamer’s Gentlemen’s Club in Liverpool UK. Her actual name is Stephanie Farah , although she used the fake profile on FaceBook by the name of Gilliam Karen Melissa to scam me out of $1300 U.S. dollars which is not that large of an amount , but she tried for much much more and I am not the only victim of Stephanie Farah’s , but I evidently am the only one that has been successful at tracking her down.


    • February 12, 2015 at 2:23 pm, Elliotte Farah said:

      i have spoken to you on my Facebook and repeated told you that it wasn’t me! i am sick of reading about me being a scammer from you j thomps! i don’t live in nigeria nor did we ever speak and have an online relationship! i have a fiancé and a young child. my partner is a very successful business man and we have been together since 2010. i also work myself and do not need to scam people out of money! you harassed me with emails and after telling you 20 times that i am sorry but it seems someone has taken my photographs and used them to hurt you you still insist it was me who has done this. they didn’t use my name, you found my Facebook and realised something had gone wrong yes? so how can you be so stupid as to continually say it was me and now post my name all over sites saying i am this person! this is slander! why stephanie why? it wasn’t me!!!!! i still have all your Facebook messages. you have been hurt and betrayed by somebody who does this for a living. it could even be a guy behind the computer screen. please stop using my name. there is nothing i can personally do as i don’t know who has done this. please at least report it to an online crime site and they will trace the ip address or something i don’t really know. but stop saying it was me!!!!


      • August 24, 2015 at 12:50 pm, Lora Thompson said:

        I was just wondering if Joseph Thompson was still contacting you or when was the last time you heard from him. I am his wife and would appreciate if you could let me know. Thankyou


  22. September 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm, Envee Makeup said:

    Good information! Thanks a bunch.


  23. September 07, 2012 at 10:14 am, Shelley Berghold said:

    This is really good to know. I wanted to try out modeling and I went to this agency one day. I never did modeling before but it has always been a dream of mine. I am starting to think I might be too old for it. I am 38. The lady at the agency liked me. But then there was a catch. She wanted me to go to modeling classes. It was really pricey. Is that something you have to do go to modeling classes? Also she was going to have someone take pictures of me during classes for a portfolio. I had to buy the pictures. It was going to be $10 for a picture. Thanks to the one video on here, I now know this is a scam.


  24. August 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm, Uju Malone said:

    I came on here to seek more modeling opportunities just like others and what I read is “Nigerian scams or 419”?? Are you kidding me?? Now, I’m positive that there are other scammers in the world besides Nigerians. Nigerians are wizards by nature. Very intelligent people, but I think that is very rude and mean to post that on this site!!!. Just because Oprah said it, does not make it so for ALL NIgerians. There’s enough oil money in that country to buy other African countries. Just so you know there are Nigerians that are not scams. I’m a model and I’m Nigerian-American, and I couldn’t even hurt a fly yet alone scam somebody. … And yes, I have Igbo sense. 🙂


    • October 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm, Criminal Nation said:

      You are correct there are other countries involved in these scams upon a large scale such as Russia, China and the Philippines, Where the problem comes in with Nigeria is that 8 out 10 of these scams originate from there. In further to this, it is estimated that these well organized criminal gangs and terrorist funding groups from that particular African nation rakes in approximately 15 billion dollars annually from unsuspecting North Americans and Europeans.

      This scam has even evolved into an afterhours pop culture where drugs and the occasional murder happens.The American Consulate has warned not to approach these people in Nigeria wherein Americans have gone missing and found murdered.

      The unfortunate truth and what should be of concern to you is this. Should modeling be allowed upon websites and if not would banning it solve these issues of crime and terrorism in Nigeria.

      The definition of ignorance is ‘lacking knowledge and truth’ and with that said, who is it one day that might just have to model a Green Beret and Combat Boots in such a place like ‘JOS’ .


  25. July 30, 2012 at 7:17 am, SILVANA said:



  26. July 24, 2012 at 4:23 am, sam said:

    I applied for a casting a month ago and and received a reply back a couple of days ago. The email advises that there is a shoot close to my location which i already knew but also for an Italian designer alessandra facchinetti. Now they have sent me a contract and tell me i will get £400 before the shoot and 1600 after! They even have the address in italy to correspond with?! scam???


  27. July 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm, PISSED OFF said:



  28. June 30, 2012 at 3:14 am, A.J. Duane said:

    A few years ago, when I had just started out in the modeling industry, a scammer emailed me saying that he wanted to fly me out to New York for a photoshoot and that he was gonna send me a check for a huge sum of money. Sure enough he sent the check. He told me that I was gonna have to send some money back for the MUA and a few other things. Now being new to the industry, I didnt know it was a scam and was actually ecstatic about the whole ordeal. So when the check came in the mail, it went to my mom’s house becase thats where I receive my mail and sometimes she reads my mail before I do. She saw the check and advised me that it was a scam. I didnt want to believe her, but I knew it was probably true, so I took the check to a check cashing place and I just simply showed them the check and asked them was it real. It turns out the check was fake. I got back on my email account and wrote the scammer a very nasty email. That was the last time I heard from him. Every person needs to know how to identify scams. It will save them a bunch of time, money, hassels, and headaches. Ive learned from my mistakes. My girlfriend who is about four years younger than me just opened a new model mayhem account a few weeks ago and someone messaged her and said the same thing that the scammer said to me. My girlfriend was really happy about it. I got on her MM and read the message. After reading the message, I told her that it was a scam. She asked me was I sure and I told her I’m 100% positive. Now every message she receives on MM, she’s going to run it by me so that she wont have the same issue I had.


  29. June 04, 2012 at 3:37 pm, Coletheresa94 said:

    OK thank you so much 🙂


  30. May 05, 2012 at 4:15 am, CindyDoreen said:

    This has happen to me atleast twice.
    I was smart enough to call their bluff and scare them away.
    Nothing in life comes for free therefore I knew better than to expect money before actually getting any work done.
    I feel bad for anyone who has fallen for these gimmicks, they sell you a dream and crush it as soon as you get your hopes up.
    Any way, I hope all of these scams are shit down. If you have been victimized, know that this is a lesson learned. Work hard and continue to show the world what you’ve got. Eventually someone with legitimate credentials will recognize your talents. 🙂


  31. April 14, 2012 at 9:56 pm, Chookie said:

    Ohhh dear. Peeps take care out there. If it seems too good to be true – IT IS! Pretty scary how many poor folk get scammed by these crooksters.


    • April 26, 2018 at 8:57 am, Dee Annie said:

      actually, let me correct you on that. part you said if it seems too good to be true-it is NOT!! OK?


  32. April 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm, Miitalianbabe said:

    Got one sent to me and said he was on MM. Saw my MM profile and wanted to pay me half upfront. I wasnt born yesterday, I reported him to the MM moderators. Saw another one. This photog/agent was going to send MM models to the Carribeans  all expenses paid based on just their pics! No meet and greet? Sounded fishy? Sent it to mod. If it sounds too good to be true….


  33. April 11, 2012 at 11:22 am, Dorie Phillips said:

    Thank you for sharing this I have been getting alot of emails that had stated that they would send the check first but with an undisclosed location and that the money would be sent to the makeup artists and stylists afterwards. It didnt seem right took it to the bank and they tried to call the people and the address on the check they sent was different than the addresss on the piece of mail.


  34. April 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm, Bin there done that said:

    100% of any offer sent from Nigeria is a fraud.I can’t tell you how many offers I’ve had to deal with over the past 5 years,both from women looking for a husband and people looking to hire a photographer.
    A word of warning to give you a heads up on a fraud is if the person offers to send you a check for a job tell them you only accept money orders or cashiers checks.This usually stops all communications before it goes any farther.If they say that’s okay tell them to email you a contract defining your responsibilities as a model or a photographer before you’ll send them your mailing information.Chances are you’ll never hear from them again.



  35. April 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm, Tntabitha said:

    Probably because Nigeria is where most scams originate. Just like identity theft started in Brazil. Stop taking things personally and think globally


  36. April 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm, Tony said:

    >>”No legitimate industry professional is going to hire someone unknown to
    them, sight unseen, and pay them in advance for a
    modeling/photography/makeup job.”…

    Slightly demotivational don’t you think given that this is the whole purpose of your website?…. I may have to cancel a prearranged shoot with a Polish model I have never met before but only seen on MM, but naturally I wish to pay her for her time even though it is cancelled, however this email may now make it hard for me to pay her as I planned to pay her by paypal or cheque. Whilst I think it is good to warn people about scams perhaps you needed to word your newsletter a little more carefully for a number of reasons that I can see.


  37. April 10, 2012 at 11:30 am, Bree Hardy said:

    I’m really happy i got to read this. i had just gotten some scam offers sometime last week, and had gotten all excited until a family member did some research and told me about all these different scams. so i denied all of them, and im so happy i did. i honestly think its so sad that people can actually scam someone and feel no guilt at all. Its truly a sad world we live in.


  38. April 10, 2012 at 11:30 am, Nicolegoreski said:

    This actually happened to me. It wasn’t a modelling job or anything. I was selling my truck on kijiji. I had it listed for 3500. I had a “buyer” contact me and ask me for my address because he lived in vancouver and wanted to buy my truck. He was going to send me a check. I was in the process of getting a new vehicle so I just wanted to get rid of my truck, so I sent him my address. Never crossed my mind it was a scam, until I got the letter with the check. The check was for $8000 and the letter said that half was for the purchase price of the truck and the other half was for shipping. They provided the phone number for the shipping company. The shipping company is part if their scam. The person I talked to online had a different name than the person who signed the letter, and also different from who the check was issued. There were also international mail stamps all over the envelope. He said he was from vancouver. Now don’t get me wrong here, the check looked real. It was good. So when I went to the bank I asked them to call the bank from where the check was issued, just to make sure, as it was not a certified check. When they tried to call, the address of the bank didnt exist and the check in fact was not real. I gave them copies of the letter and everything and that was it. The guys who tried to scam me contacted me a couple times, but afte I told them what I did they left me alone. Never Again. I’m so careful now.


  39. April 10, 2012 at 11:00 am, Cynthia122011 said:



    • April 10, 2012 at 11:41 am, MM Edu said:

      At no point did we suggest that scams or fraud are unique to Nigeria.
       We stated that these particular scams “are commonly referred to” as “Nigerian” scams or “419” scams,  and classified as Advance-fee fraud.We also include multiple links to our sources.


    • April 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm, Wildwallytees said:

      Cynthia…  you need to  lighten up and relax!  Have a nice day.


    • April 12, 2012 at 10:38 am, Info said:

      I must admit I have got more from the government in Nigeria trying to get money out than any other country. I think MM was just generalising and trying to make a point which personally I think is important and commend them for informing us. Instead of ‘shouting’ and  ‘ranting’ take on board that they are trying to protect MM members which I guess some of whom are even from Nigeria!
      Scams come from every country so don’t take offence, chill!!!


    • July 05, 2012 at 2:05 pm, abbazi said:

      They are called Nigerian scams because at one point. A lot of these scams were originating from there. Even the FBI calls them that. It also helps that Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Even Africans ( and i am one) are wary of Nigerians because corruption and scams are notorious in Nigeria. It’s cultural thing that infourtunately is rampant in third world countries and Nigeria is a glaring example.


      • April 26, 2018 at 8:29 am, Dee Annie said:

        Well I have met someone named Derek Negroweisse a pervert of a photographer from Model Mayhem fyi. he is german. and all the while I was working with him. He wanted to know how much money I had in my bank and how much money my friend has in the bank. This guy does not pay anyone. he says depends on assignment which is his way of a good alibi not to pay you. instead asks you to invest in his business and your money will grow. which is a bunch of bullshit. because I had given him a pretty big amount. he just kept asking for more money and then there will have interest grow. this man is a lying deceiving fraud. he told me it was not for his sole purpose but then after he tells me he used to pay bills. He’s fucking scam artist himself. besides those in Nigeria and Im sure he’s connected with and affiliated with those there. I have encountered some of his collegeas coming at me and saying perverted things and He was behind there accounts on facebook. DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN!
        AT ALL.


    • July 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm, Kelz said:

      They are called Nigerian scams because this is one of the first major places these scams were being thought of and taking place. When it was realized to be a huge and reoccuring issue, where people were actually travelling to Nigeria. Model Mayhem did not coin that staement fyi


    • October 02, 2012 at 6:19 pm, Marisa Schweikert said:

      For real u need to lighten up and educate yourself b/c the term Nigerian scams didn’t originate with MM. It’s called this b/c the overwhelming majority of these internet scams originated in Nigeria. And are mostly carried on by Nigerians in Nigeria. So what shld they call them Italian scams?lol Duh


  40. April 10, 2012 at 10:41 am, Goddess said:

    This was great and right on time and I actually just got a fake check yesterday, this is my third one.


  41. April 10, 2012 at 10:40 am, Malearts said:

    Thanks for taking the time and energy to print this. Good going guys.


  42. April 10, 2012 at 10:26 am, Sensy said:

    thanks i was getting these scams on a daily basis but, I definitely already knew this was a scam because the modeling industry does not work in that fashion.


    • April 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm, Cutiepye784 said:

      wow i cant belive how many people this happened to n me too this is the 3rd time i was frauded the 2nd i actually was nieve n sent money not knowing that this was a scam n i sighned a fake contract i was so upset i was crying cuz my bank had to take money out of my other account to cover the check

      Also this last time i was smart i got another model gig n the same thing i got a  check n was suppose to transfer money out n keep sum money n i put it in a dummy account i created cus i had a feeling it was a scam cuz the persons name was very similar to the other one n they kept on email me and asking me y i hadnt i sent the funds n i was playin dumb n saying that the check is still on hold n asked them n there bold face liers i even asked them if there a scam n of course they said no n they was saying i was asking too many questions and they were going to take legal action

      I need sumbody to contact me via email what i can do to get my money back thanks


      • April 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm, Bin there done that said:

        Cutiepye 784
        I feel bad for you and sad to say there’s nothing to be done to get your money back.Chalk it up to a learning experience,yes an expensive one.Read my post on how to find out the frauds.
        #1 never send anyone money
        #2 if they offer to send you a check tell them you only accept cashiers checks,or money orders.
         Don’t get worried about those ppl saying they will take legal action.Tell them to go ahead you’d love to meet them in court and counter sue them.Trust me you’ll never hear from them again.


        • April 11, 2012 at 3:22 am, OMG said:

          Oh my goodness, what on earth do I do? I’m about to receive like three of these so called checks!


          • April 11, 2012 at 3:40 am, OMG said:

            Guess I’m just never gonna get anywhere in this industry, who am I kidding.

          • April 11, 2012 at 8:49 am, Thevirginmirage said:

            OMG: don’t give up. There are real jobs out there. Know your industry. Stay informed. Research all offers made to you, speak to referrals, ask for contracts.

            For now, you haven’t lost noney. Report the check fraud to your bank and the contacts to modelmayhem. Part of staying out of scams is to report them, inform others, dialogue and protect our community.

          • April 12, 2012 at 1:23 am, OMG said:

            OK thank you so much 🙂

      • April 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm, Herb Piper said:

        There is no way that you can get your money back, Cutiepye. The money you sent is now out of the country and our banks and the government won’t help you with international transactions like this that you willingly entered into.
        It is my understanding that in Nigeria, there are “boiler rooms” full of computers and their operators, sending out these types of messages by the thousands every day. It does no good to complain to the government in Nigeria because the administrators that have oversight are being bribed more money by those running scams than their government pays them and the government itself is hands off because they see money flowing into their poor country and as a result are not willing to stop the scams.


  43. April 10, 2012 at 10:18 am, Stanc48 said:

    Thak you so much.  This is always timely information.  I get “proposals” every so often and usually (actually always) ignore them.


  44. April 10, 2012 at 9:54 am, Deanna said:

    Thank you for posting this! It’s so true, they are total scams and will scam you right out of your money and you will owe the bank!


    • April 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm, Reagan50 said:

      Thank you for posting this. I was sent a scam from Whilamenia models by the name of Stephanie Blaine. This person harassed me everyday for 2 weeks with emails. I told the person i knew it was a scam and that I would contact the police if the harassment continued and that person threatened me and my family if I contacted the police. I researched Stephanie Blaine. No such person working for Whilamenia models. I can’t believe the nerve of these people. I finally had to block there email addres and there phone number. It was scary. Terrible people out there.


  45. April 02, 2012 at 3:48 am, Unanimous said:

    After growing suspicion I decided to contact three of the top people who
    work for British GQ Magazine through email & also did some
    research. Smartest move I’ve made! They confirmed the man named Ben
    Jerkison was a fake, has no relation to the company what so ever &
    is a scammer. I received his job offer through my Model Mayhem. Telling me I would get $1,800 for a 3 day shoot. I was
    convinced at first, a legitimate website with his name, profession &
    location. Don’t be fooled! Scammers make fake websites all the time. I
    cut off communication with the so called Ben Jerkison, letting him know I
    decided to turn down his offer & I have no interest for future
    opportunities he would present to me. I even told him he would be
    wasting his time. A check is on its way to my address, I will surely
    dispose it. Still makes me sick to my stomach that I was almost tricked on a fake photo shoot!
    What’s even more funny, a friend of mine just recently made a Model
    Mayhem account as well & he got the same GQ offer by the same name.
    Pathetic. Prowling on inexperienced models! Don’t be fooled everyone,
    whatever name it may be or company! Same case. You really think they are
    going to pay you a large sum of money without even knowing you at
    first bases, specially if they are located in a different country like the UK. I live in the US. Hate to
    burst your bubble, no matter how attractive or talented you are. They
    are out for your money! Plain & simple. Be careful.


    • April 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm, Mmac 91 said:

      I was also contacted with the same person and told him to fuck off.


    • April 11, 2012 at 11:09 am, CruelLust said:

      i was contacted by the same person too! thought something was fishy when i looked over the emails and simple grammar mistakes were all over the place. A professional doesn’t write a formal email like they were sending a text to a friend…


      • April 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm, DebraAnn said:

        I totally agree with Cruel Lust.  A big give away to these scammers is their improper grammatical errors.  I have had to throw away a three thousand dollar check before, because my husband informed me about this scam.  I have had many dreams dashed by these cruel people.

        Another hint is the mention of Western Union.  They often want you to use Western union as part of the scam.  Also, these scams tell you you are to pay this, and that person related to the shoot.  You are not responsible for paying anybody when hired for a legit shoot. .  You are the model.  You get paid.


    • March 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm, UN_assuming said:

      I recently got propositioned by a person named Gerrard Putt who wanted me for a photoshoot. It was odd that it took him a while to get back to me and even then he was very vague about the location and talked mostly about the payment. I


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