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Sunday, March 25, 2012

How to avoid or minimize the potential for scams


Since this blog reproduced notices and does not originate many of the messages, please take precautions on responding of auditioning. Some common sense rules (from Craigslist and other sources). You can sidestep would-be scammers by following these common-sense rules:
  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scams.
  • DO NOT PAY TO AUDITION OR TO BE IN A PRODUCTION - while there are charities and "points" on various entertainment productions, a safe rule is to be very careful with your money and always to due diligence first.
  • WORK UNDER UNION CONTRACTS- SAG, AFTRA, Equity, AGVA and AGMA contracts protect talent in many ways. Always contact the union office if you have questions about a productions signatory status.
  • WORK THROUGH A UNION AGENT OR STATE LICENCED TALENT AGENCY- there are protections in place including bonding and background checks Check with the union and the state to confirm status if there is any doubt.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
  • FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
  • AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION.
  • DO NOT RENT HOUSING WITHOUT SEEING THE INTERIOR, OR PURCHASE EXPENSIVE ITEMS SIGHT-UNSEEN -in all likelihood that housing unit is not actually for rent and that cheap item does not exist.
  • DO NOT SUBMIT TO CREDIT CHECKS OR BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR A JOB OR FOR HOUSING UNTIL YOU HAVE MET THE INTERVIEWER OR LANDLORD/AGENT IN PERSON.

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