With so many modeling scams out there it can be tough for a girl to tell the difference between legit and BS. Here is some insight I found through ActorsFirstNY:
CONSUMER TIPS WHEN USING A MODELING/ACTING AGENCY:
New York City modeling/talent agencies must be licensed by the New
York City Department of Consumer Affairs and must be bonded, as well.
A licensed agency is required to prominently display its license. You
should look for the DCA license number on receipts and ask about the
license if you do not see it posted.
Know the difference between modeling/talent agencies and
modeling/talent managers. A modeling/talent agency will attempt to
secure employment for modeling, theater, film, radio, or television
work, but do not manage their client’s business affairs. Fees for the
agency’s services to place jobs are limited to 10% by law, in most
instances. On the other hand, managers advise their clients on
appearance, style, and overall career direction.
Legitimate model and/or talent agents do not require or request upfront fees.
Aspiring models should look for and attend “open calls” at reputable
modeling agencies. Well-known agencies usually have open calls on a
weekly basis. Also avoid agents who require upfront service fees;
require photographs by a specific photographer; and advertise in
newspapers, or on buses and subways.
Upfront fees are illegal. Do not use an agent who requests upfront
fees for photo shoots or any other type of service.
Do not believe promises of work. If a prospective agent tells you he
or she can book you for a particular film, video or modeling
assignment, beware. The most an agent can do is send you on auditions
and put in a good word on your behalf.
Beware of agents who solicit you over the phone or in person. If
someone approaches you on the street, take that person’s business card
and check to see if he or she is licensed. If not, forget it.
Always get references. Before you sign anything, get references from
others whom the agent has represented in the past.
By law, New York City modeling and talent agencies that place jobs
must be licensed by the DCA, and must be bonded.
To file a complaint, check if a business is licensed, or request a
free copy of What You Need to Know About Employment Agencies, call 311
or visit the DCA online at www.nyc.gov/consumers