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Out now: Lucire issue 49, with free shipping for UK and US


Modelling scam artists vary their MO


November 16, 2009/23.07

Disturbingly, it looks as though the scam artists have changed their game. At the beginning of this year, we noted that we, Glamour and FHM had been affected by scam artists illegally using our name and promising models photo shoots. But there was one hitch: the scammers were using an address and names that had no connection to Lucire at all.
   We asked the British High Commission to investigate, as the scam artists were using a UK address, but it said it was not its job and it was up to us to prove that the scammers were British. Since we didn’t have our own squad of detectives, which the High Commission must assume everyone must have, we were unable to go any further using the correct channels.
   We did the next best thing: go public with it, since we care a great deal about whether people are getting conned, whether under our name or those of other magazines’. The notes here must have had some effect because the scammers’ MO has now changed.
   However, the scam still appears, by and large, to be a variant of the air fare scam, adapted to the modelling industry.
   We were alerted today by an astute model that they are now using a real Lucire address in New York (at 244 Fifth Avenue) to begin their contact, as well as the name of our associate publisher in New York. However, as with all these scams, they have the details wrong: the telephone number is off by a digit and her title (they called her ‘Fashion Coordinator’) is wrong. Even if they were to correct the title, one hopes that models realize that associate publishers don’t do model bookings.
   The key is still to look at the email address: a Lucire person would not contact you via Gmail or any free email service, certainly not through [email protected] or luciremagazine** (Our email convention is [email protected], and all replies go to an address of this form, with the exception of a general mailbox.) We do not refer to ourselves as ‘Lucire Global Fashion Magazine’ in text (whoever heard of calling yourself by your name and part of your tagline?).
   Since they deal in email, they know that putting an address that is would send it back to us for real, and they cannot afford that.
   Fake names the scammers have used so far include Bruce Williams, Jack Henry, Jeff Daniels, C. Ellsworth and Gregory Williams. One fake address used regularly is 32 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London (we do not have an office there).
   Generally, the best course of action is to contact this magazine or to add a comment below if you are unsure. A legitimate shoot enquiry will come from a Lucire email account, a modelling or talent agency or a photographer working with the agency. If you are signed up to an agency, the enquiries will go through there, not to you directly.
   We have investigated a little more on who you can report these to. If you are a US citizen or resident, and the scam seems to originate from the US, your best bet is the FBI. We are happy to send complaints on to the FBI, if we can get the scammers’ emails with complete headers (you can use our feedback form or email
   In fact, now that the scammers are dumb enough to use the real name of a US citizen, it gives the authorities an extra cause of action against them.
   Please stay vigilant and let’s get these scam artists.

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modelling / New York / photography / publishing
Filed by Jack Yan

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