Sussex is among the counties targetted by fraudsters conning social media users out of thousands of pounds, a report has said.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud are warning Sussex residents about fake adverts for modelling jobs on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.
Once a victim shows interest in the modelling job advertised, they may be asked for up-front payment for a test shoot which never takes place once fees are paid, according to Sussex and Surrey In the Know.
Other victims have been told they’ve been given the modelling job but must pay a fee on signing the contract according to NFIB and Action Fraud’s research.
Fake child-modelling opportunities have also been used to con parents or guardians out of cash by asking for fees in advance, the organisations said.
According to NFIB and Action Fraud, victims may also be convinced they need to pay for a portfolio in order to find modelling work.
Between September 2015 and August 2017 an average of 28 reports of advance-fee modelling fraud have been received per month by the NFIB.
In August 2017, 49 Action Fraud reports of this fraud type were received and may continue to rise, according to the organisation. It said the total loss in August 2017 alone was more than £71,000.
Sussex and Surrey In the Know has offered some tips to help identify when a modelling offer is fake.
They suggest: Carrying out your own research prior to paying any type of advance or upfront fee.
Being wary if you are asked to pay for a portfolio, as many legitimate agencies will cover that cost.
Avoiding sharing bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on the relevant agency.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, you can report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.