Is Something Wrong With This Picture?

ABC 26, 2002
By Jennifer Julian

What could be more flattering? Someone approaches you at the mall and says, "You have the look! You should be a model." It may sound too good to be true.

A local model contacted Eyewitness News Troubleshooter Jennifer Julian to get the word out about a new company in the area that claims to be scouting models. Susan Harris' face has been seen around the world. "Milan, Italy, New York, Atlanta and North Carolina."

Susan was tired of the camera's glare, so she wanted to make a career move. "I was looking for a job online." There it was-- a job for a modeling scout. "That's cool, it's still in my industry still in my field."

The company, Options Talent, says it's recognized as the world's largest and best model scouting company. Susan filled out the online application. She received a letter in the mail saying she had potential as a model scout. She then went to an open call meeting at a Durham hotel. Susan says Options Talent wanted her to hand out cards to potential models everywhere she went.

Susan knows what model scouts do-- and this didn't sound like real scouting. "You just don't go walk up to anybody."

Here's how Susan and the other scouts would make their money. You urge the potential model to sign up for a spot on a website-- that costs the potential model 500 dollars upfront and 20 dollars a month for web maintenance. "You get a commission off that. If you get one person, it's 20 dollars," Susan explained.

Remember, Susan has been a professional model for nearly 10 years. She knew she didn't pay hundreds of dollars for a spot on a website. "The only thing you have to spend money on is pictures. I don't pay my agent except for when I get a job."

The Federal Trade Commission says what Options Talent is doing is not illegal, but probably not going to get you in the pages of your favorite magazine.

We checked and there are no complaints filed against the company called Options Talent. But consumer experts say none of us should expect to make a fortune recruiting models at the grocery store or dry cleaners.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.