If you are an aspiring actor or actress, you need to be aware of a casting call scam. Scammers are creating fake audition notices to trick performers people into paying to try out for parts that don't exist.
How Does the Casting Call Scam Work?
Scammers create a Facebook page or a website that promotes an upcoming casting call. The fake show's "producers" say they are looking for contestants or actors for a brand new TV show. If you want to be an actor or actress, this seems like your big opportunity!
Their instructions ask you to email your photos and resume to the email address on the website. The 'producer' responds right away and invite you to fill out an application online and/or to attend an audition' for a fee. But the Screen Actor's Guild rules specifically prohibit charging fees for casting calls and auditions.
What happens next?
There is no show, so your audition tapes go nowhere. The scammer may be
satisfied with the fee you paid, but you also may have given personal information to
who may be able to use that to open bank accounts and credit cards in your name.
It is possible that the producer is legitimate, but the "project" just falls apart anyway. Other casting calls may be out-and-out scams. The scammers may claim they are producing a reality show, game show, scripted shows or movies.
How to Identify a Casting Audition Scam:
Look for these warning signs:
- They ask for money or any upfront fee.
- They claim they are affiliated with a network or production company.
- If there is no website or any other documented sources associated with the project.
- They claim they can make you a star.
- They claim unrealistic earnings, like "up to $300 per day as an extra, no experience necessary". (The SAG Digest says $148 per day for dues paying members of SAG; less for non-members.
- The producers are in a hurry, rushing to cast in no time.
- The casting call is advertised on Craigslist. Really.
- The call is for all types, all ages, and any ethnicities wanted.
- They answer calls at any hour of day or night. Legitimate agents have a life of their own.
And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive. We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!
- Backstage.com "7 Signs of a Fake Casting Call"
- SAG (Screen Actors Guild)
Better Business Bureau