ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – So you, like many parents, believe your little one is brimming with talent. Unfortunately, many scam artists see dollar signs in your child’s hopes and dreams.

The Better Business Bureau’s Chris Thetford says his office investigates dozens of so-called talent scouts that have scammed and continue to scam area families.

“They’re going to convince you that your child is a star but in order for your child to be a star, you’ve got to spend however many hundreds or thousands of dollars to make that happen and that’s the red flag,” he said. “A legitimate talent agent isn’t going to charge you to represent your child, to try to get them place in commercials or television shows or movies. A legitimate talent agent is only going to take a percentage of whatever the earnings of the child is that they place in one of those vehicles.”

Thetford suggests going to the Better Business Bureau’s website to find out how to protect your family from unscrupulous talent scouts.

“Another thing we hear is a lot of times people will be told they need to go get head shots made or they need to go to this one photographer and the pictures end up costing lots and lots of money, far more than pictures of that variety should cost,” he said.

In one St. Louis case, parents were paying for their children to take part in a talent competition.

“Unfortunately, people were spending thousands of dollars and not getting acting or modeling jobs,” Thetford explained.


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