Photographers masquerading as Talent Scouts

Current listings & scams on TradeMe - please post cases of fee avoidance or breach of TM rules (contact details) in the "minor transgressions" area - try to stick to the subject and feel free to start a new thread if appropriate.
BlueNZ
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Photographers masquerading as Talent Scouts

Post by BlueNZ » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:27 am

I was approached by a friend that was called in for an "interview" with Talent Scouts Ltd in response to a TradeMe job listing like this one. When they went in for the interview they were presented with a "hard sell" (put on the spot needing to make a decision then and there) on spending $400-700 on a portfolio with no guarantees on job placement.
Looking into "Talent Scouts Ltd" proved to be an interesting experience with little to no information to be found. The rather generic name makes it hard to do general searches but this is what I found.
The testimonial page is full of people telling what a lovely experience the photo shoot was. There are only a few that actually claim to have gotten jobs and the only one that I could find was Ivanka Blazevic with a bankruptcy filing in 2007. When dealing with talent scouts they're usually quite proud of the talent they've actually found, from my experience, so where's the talent?
The directors page is also disappointing. The two named directors have a long list of companies and history... but when you look up any of the companies they don't exist! Three of the named companies are ExecutiveImage, Strawberry Studios, and Photolicious. A quick search shows that these companies/websites have existed and still have advertising on NZS, finda and other directories, but no other trace to be found.
If you have any thoughts, opinions or actual experience with this company please share! My opinion is that this is a rather pathetic ploy to lure hopeful and desperate people to lose a large amount of money.

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Foggyone
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Whois

Post by Foggyone » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:37 am

talentscouts.co.nz
registrant_contact_name: Richard Brookes
registrant_contact_address1: 44a Fir Street Waterview
registrant_contact_city: Auckland
registrant_contact_country: NZ (NEW ZEALAND)
registrant_contact_phone: 64 9 820-7476
registrant_contact_fax: 64 9 820-7479
registrant_contact_email: domains@serversnack.co.nz
Companies Office
Company Number 1243034 View Certificate Of Incorporation

Company TALENT SCOUTS LIMITED

EMAIL CERTIFICATE

Incorporated 24-SEP-2002 View Online Extract

Current Status REGISTERED
Google, the answer to so many questions!
-----------------------------------------------------

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digidog
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Post by digidog » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:12 am

The domain was first registered in September 2002, though there's no
record of who owned it at that stage. The domain record was last modified
in July of this year.

TalentScouts address is P.O. Box 47-951 Ponsonby.
According to Microsoft that P O Box is owned by a "charity reseller" (what-
ever that is) called Latinum Technology Limited. However LTech is owned
by a Charles and Nikki Graves who are based on Waiheke Island. Maybe
TalentScouts are just kind people who share their P O Box with friends?

Other than that it's hard to find anything else about the company. There
has been a dodgy Talent Scouting Agency operating in ChCh recently that's
run by a mother & daughter team out of Australia. They've been leaving
debts behind them and not providing services which were pre-paid. With
anything like this, research carefully before you hand over your hard-
earned money.

I stress that there is NO suggestion that talentscouts.co.nz is in any way
associated with the dodgy ChCH lot.

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Post by BlueNZ » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:28 am

Latinum Technology Ltd looks like an interesting site, no idea how IT suppliers are involved with them, or how it can be a family trust and charity but I'm sure that's more tax related than dubious.

I was most puzzled when hitting several dead ends looking up ExecutiveImage, Strawberry Studios and Photolicious. Perhaps you super sleuths can shed some light?

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digidog
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Post by digidog » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:42 am

None of them appear to be live any more. Here's some cached versions
of the three sites.

executiveimage - July 2007

photolicious - June 2008

strawberry studios - June 2008
and a glimpse of what the Strawberry site might have looked like.

I'm only guessing but it seems like they've closed some unprofitable
companies to concentrate on the one that's working best.

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closures

Post by angry » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:15 pm

"I'm only guessing but it seems like they've closed some unprofitable
companies to concentrate on the one that's working best."

Or liquidated deliberatly debt ridden companies with no intention of paying creditors?

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digidog
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Post by digidog » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:36 pm

That's a heavy call. You do need to be careful of libel when making those
sorts of comments.

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Comments

Post by angry » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:50 am

True,

But comment is a "Question".


Not a Statment of Fact.

I missed the ? in my edit.

Can only do 1 edit.

Can admin put 1 in for me please.

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digidog
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Post by digidog » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:28 pm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-me-jobs/ ... 227142.htm

Talent Scouts are advertising on TM again.

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Post by angry » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:52 am

need more complaints from other members.

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Post by seabird3 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:05 pm


eastauck
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Post by eastauck » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:30 pm

Ethnic looking men and women (Italian or Greek looking) with olive skin, strong features, any age.

thats the ad for Spartacus

http://www.kamtalent.com/now-casting.aspx?id=10931

i have done some work on that.i have not across talentscouts.co.nz
at any of the movies i have done this year or last year
but anyone can set up and run a ad and play at being a talent scout

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digidog
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Post by digidog » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:48 am

Just to be clear people... while $400-700 upfront is a hefty fee for a portfolio,
at this stage there is absolutely NO suggestion that Talent Scouts are doing
anything illegal. Please keep that in mind.

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Post by angry » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:59 am

digidog wrote:Just to be clear people... while $400-700 upfront is a hefty fee for a portfolio,
at this stage there is absolutely NO suggestion that Talent Scouts are doing
anything illegal. Please keep that in mind.
No, from the descripton of their activitys, they just seem to be an immoral group preying at a loop hole.

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Post by eastauck » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:54 pm

400 700 thats not bad for photos,we took our baby to the mall in auckland to have some photos and it starts at 500 gos up to over 1000 bucks.the Talent agent i am with has no cost for the photos,but if you want to do a acting class its about 200 bucks
a agent can never give a guarantee on job placement as its not up to them its up to the casting people
my tip is go with a talent agent whos been around for 10 years or so
and dont think its a job as its takes months to get payed and you may only get 3 or 4 days work a year

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