Search Results for: modeling scam

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The modeling scam used by online predators

models

It’s very rare anymore that I find a good news article about online safety for children. Most just regurgitate the same things that should be common sense for most parents. However this article from the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio is a great article that talks about a scam that a lot of predators and human traffickers use, the modeling scam.

In the article it talks about a predator that was on Stickam that tried using the modeling scam before trying to blackmail a 16-year-old girl. I’ve given Stickam a lot of crap in the past but they have cleaned up their act a lot by eliminating private rooms.

Let’s get back to the modeling scam though. How it works is a predator or pimp will prey upon a teenage girl’s vanity by telling her that she’s pretty and that he can get her into modeling. It will start by them asking the girl for pictures in a bathing suit or her underwear then it will progress into requests for more explicit photos or videos. In some stories that I’ve posted girls have gotten on buses to see these ‘modeling agents’ and ended up being raped. Others have been turned out on to the streets for prostitution.

If I had a daughter that was in those vulnerable teenage years I would explain to her that the odds of becoming a high end fashion model are Powerball winning odds and that legitimate modeling agents don’t troll social and webcam sites for teen models. Then I’d take the webcam out of her room if she had one.

The modeling scam strikes in Tacoma

prostitute

Police: MySpace job offer turned into nightmare on Seattle, SeaTac streets for girl:

Dena Renee Derosa, 20, and Damenique L. Beasley, 21, of Tacoma, Washington have been arrested for allegedly forcing a 17-year-old girl they met on Myspace into prostitution.

Police say that Derosa promised the girl a job modeling at car shows after telling the girl that she was pretty over Myspace.

I’ve said before that real talent/modeling agents do not use MySpace but that seems to have gone unheeded. So I guess I’m going to have to crush the hopes and dreams of some teen girls in the name of their own safety.

Girls, you’re not really that pretty. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than you do of getting a real modeling job. If someone is offering you a modeling job on MySpace the odds are that the person offering you the job is a predator.

Parents, you may want to show this to your daughters. I’ll take the hit for you.

The modeling scam on Facebook

X-Rated Facebook scam:

This is the female equivalent of the hot girl doesn’t really want you.

Police at the University of Iowa are warning female students to be wary of a modeling scam on Facebook.

A guy who calls himself Trent Brungard is approaching women on Facebook requesting that they send him topless photos of themselves.

He is allegedly posing as a scout for the United Talent Agency.

Again, real talent/modeling agents don’t use Facebook.

Starmaker Mitch – The modeling scam strikes again

13-year-old Newton County girl victim of online predator:

The parents of a 13-year-old girl from Newton County, Georgia got police involved when they thought their daughter was having improper conversations with a boy online. When police talked to her it turns out she was talking with a 22-year-old fashion photographer who could get her into modeling. The man who called himself Starmaker Mitch said that he was looking for models for a line of clothing aimed at teens. Then Starmaker Mitch started requesting pictures of the girl which included the girl in various states of undress, you know for ‘modeling purposes’.

22-year-old Starmaker Mitch is actually 61-year-old Martin Friedman of Woodbridge, Virginia. Police believe that Friedman may have scores of other victims and are asking that if anyone had contact with Starmaker Mitch to contact the Covington, Georgia Police Department at (770) 385-2144.

Friedman had several e-mail addresses and several accounts at such social sites like MySpace, Tagged and Netlog.

Luckily the girl’s parents got involved but they made the crucial mistake when it comes to teens and computers. They allowed the computer to be in the girl’s room. I can’t stress how important it is to keep the computers that your kids use in a common area where it can be monitored closely. You may think that you don’t have to worry about that with your kid but I bet these parents did too.

And like I’ve said before, this modeling ploy seems to be a trend among sexual predators. Parents, you need to tell your kids to be aware of this and anyone who is promising your kids some kind of Hollywood career online is more than likely a predator. Tell them that real talent or modeling agents don’t use MySpace and the like and they would go through the child’s parent(s) and not approach them directly. Even if you think that your kids are too smart to fall for something like that tell them anyway.

Man posing as craigslist photographer charged with rape

Man posing as photographer on Craigslist charged:

Man posing as photographer on Craigslist strangled and raped aspiring models in a Miami forest:

 Anthony Molina-Iglesias

Anthony Molina-Iglesias

Sexual predators love to prey upon the vanity of their victims. Going back to the days of old MySpace I’ve lost count of how many predators used some form of what I call the modeling scam in order to gain access to their victims. Ages of the victims have run from pre-teens to women in their 20s. Allegedly 30-year-old Anthony Molina-Iglesias of Miami is no stranger to this particular ploy.

Molina-Iglesias has been charged with rape after allegedly luring two women to a secluded area after promising them a free modeling photo shoot on craigslist. After he took the women to his chosen spot he choked one until she passed out bound her with zip ties and raped her. He choked and bound the second woman as well but did not rape her. A third victim has also come forward stating that he raped her in a similar manner.

Allow me to address all the aspiring models out there. Craigslist is no place to find a photographer and I’ll tell you why. It doesn’t cost anything to place an ad on craigslist. Anyone can place an ad on craigslist saying that they’re a modeling agent, talent scout, photographer or whatever. That doesn’t necessarily make it true. The lower the level of entry the more suspect the person can be. Also don’t think craigslist is screening these potential predators. They’re not even lifting a finger.

Tenn. craigslist rapist on the loose (UPDATE: Not Anymore)

Edward Tarras Jr.

Edward Tarras Jr.

Man wanted for rape after posting ad on Craigslist:

Authorities are on the look out for 37-year-old Edward Tarras Jr. of Smyrna, Tennessee. He’s accused of posting an ad for models in the ‘talent gigs’ section of craigslist and then raping at least one of the women that responded to his ad.

Police say that the ad posted by Tarras said he was looking for models between the age of 15 and 24. One woman who responded to his ad went to his home and Tarras took measurements and then she left. She went back when Tarras requested additional measurements had her undress and that’s when police say he raped her. Unfortunately when police contacted Tarras they did not have enough evidence to arrest him and he took off. He is believed to have hopped on a bus to Tampa, Florida. Police believe he may have more victims including minors who may be afraid to come forward because of their parents.

I’ve been blogging about the modeling scam since MySpace’s heyday. It’s a favorite go to scam that predators like to use to get their victims especially underage ones. They prey upon their vanity and convince them that a life of glamour and fortune lay ahead. Sometimes the victims are physically and sexually assaulted while other times they end up being prostituted. As always parents you should educate your kids and yourselves when it comes to this scam. Not every person is cut out for modeling and not every modeling agent in the internet is one. In this case Tarras is actually a waiter at a local pancake place. Hardly William Morris.

Smyrna police want any one who had interactions with Tarras or know of his whereabouts to contact Detective Allan Nabours at 615-267-5434.

UPDATE 4/3/2013: Tarras has been apprehended. He’s also been charged with possession of child porn and is being held on $1.5 million bond.

Albuquerque man used Facebook to lure teen into sexual slavery on Backpage

Kendel Morrel

Kendel Morrel

Police: Man Tried To Sell Teen Into Sex Slavery:

Man arrested for human trafficking:

Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico say that 22-year-old Kendel Morrel (or Kendel Merrell) lured a 17-year-old girl into prostitution over Facebook.

The girl posted on her Facebook that she needed a job. Morrel is said to have offered her a job selling hip-hop magazines and CDs. Instead Morrel forced her to have sex with him and then turned her out for $150 a pop which she was ‘allowed’ to keep $50. He advertised her on backpage.com and tried to sell her for $3000 to other traffickers. Luckily the girl was able to escape and contact her family.

This reminds me of the modeling scam except this one is more realistic which makes it even more dangerous.

Facebook used to be where you only accepted your real life friends as your Facebook friends. But now it’s turning more into MySpace where people will accept anybody as their friend. Parents, please monitor your kids’ Facebook to see who they’re accepting as friends or someone you love may be traded away for money.

It seems that backpage’s ‘safeguards’ to keep children from being trafficked on their site is about as effective as the proverbial screen door in the submarine. And they have the gall to say that their ads are protected by the first amendment. Who is trying to protect these girls’ right to live free? Not backpage obviously.

Man with no neck charged with rape of 15-year-old girl from MyYearbook

Thomas Hutchinson

Thomas Hutchinson

Tewksbury man arraigned on child rape, extortion:

DA appeals to potential victims of Tewksbury man:

The human bowl cut over there (or Fat Spock, I couldn’t decide) is 19-year-old Thomas Hutchinson of Tewksbury, Mass. He’s been accused of raping a 15-year-old girl that he met through MyYearbook. This wasn’t your normal online hook-up though. Hutchinson allegedly not only posed as a girl on the site but also used an elaborate form of the modeling scam.

Investigators say that Hutchinson posed as a girl named Brittney and told his victim that ‘she’ could get her a job in modelling. This of course followed requests for pictures of the victim first in a bathing suit that the requests got more explicit. That’s when ‘Brittney’ said that if the victim didn’t have sex with her friend ‘Tommy’ that she would post the explicit pictures on the internet and if she didn’t she would be raped. She was raped anyway as Hutchinson allegedly drove to her house and forced her into his car where he raped her.

After Hutchinson was arrested and police investigated his home and computer they found even more child porn and they believe he may have had more victims…

If you think you may have been a victim of the defendant, or know someone who may have been victimized by the defendant, you are asked to call the Medford Police Department Computer Crimes Unit at 781-396-0893.

Hutchinson used the e-mail addresses of Sexybeast5655@aim.com and Tommy364587@aim.com to allegedly commit the scam and rape.

Again to the girls out there, any legitimate modeling agency, if there is such a thing, will not contact you through a social networking site. They will not bypass your parents to ask for photos. Not to mention the odds of actually becoming a successful model are about the same as winning the lottery.

Parents, warn your daughters about this scam. Pedophiles and predators will prey upon their vanity in order to groom your children. And as always be more wary of their internet activities. You’re the only defense between your children and online predators.

UPDATE 10/20/2011: NoNeck McFatty has been indicted on charges of child porn and child rape.

UPDATE 4/2/2012: Hutchinson has been indicted on 46 additional charges after investigators were able to identify at least 17 more alleged victims. Police say there still may be more.

In this latest round of charges investigators say he not only used the Brittany alias but also the aliases of ‘steve.modeling’, Sean Mullen and Jess Adams. Some of the new victims have also claimed to have been sexually assaulted.

Authorities continue to attempt to identify additional victims depicted in videos found on the defendant’s computer. If you think you may have been a victim of the defendant, or know someone who may have been victimized by the defendant, you are asked to call the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office at 781-897-6600.

With all due respect to his defenders that have previously posted comments it looks like the trust you had in your friend was unwarranted.

UPDATE 6/29/2013: Hutchinson was sentenced to 15 years after pleading guilty. Nowhere near enough in my opinion. He’ll be in his mid-30s when he gets out which will give him plenty of time to prey again. Thanks to Never_Speechless for the tip.

17+ years for MySpace child prostitution

Man Gets 17 Years For Using MySpace To Lure, Pimp 17-Year-Old:

Again I don’t know how I missed this story when it first broke. I guess it wasn’t important enough to have received any media attention at the time.

Anyway, 29-year-old Dwayne Lawson was sentenced to 17 1/2 years for pimping out two underage girls in Orange County, California.

He lured a 17-year-old girl to the O.C. over MySpace by promising to make her a star. He had the girl bussed out from Florida to California. I’m going to guess that he used the modeling scam. He also drove another underage girl from Miami to California to work the streets for him.

“The young people in this case were victimized and exploited in a horrific way,” said the U.S. Attorney in L.A. André Birotte Jr. “This sentence demonstrates that sex traffickers and pimps will suffer severe consequences for their reprehensible conduct.”

Not severe enough if you ask me. And again to the girls who think someone on MySpace can make them a star guess again. Real talent or modeling agents do not use MySpace. Not to mention the odds of someone actually making it as an actress or model is about the same as winning the lottery.

More details on Threlkeld

Joshua Threlkeld

Joshua Threlkeld

Here we have some more details on Mr. Neck Tattoo Child Molester (allegedly) Joshua Threlkeld.

I’ve already explained his modeling scam. Check out what happened (allegedly) at one of his ‘modeling sessions’…

One of the girls said Threlkeld also drove her to a condo in Palm Springs, according to Weinstein’s declaration, and took pictures of her in a see-through yellow gown. But then, after a few photographs, he said the camera broke. With her mother on welfare and three months behind on the rent, the girl became upset she wasn’t going to be paid for the modeling shoot, according to the declaration. Threlkeld took the girl into the shower, where he had sex with her, according to the declaration. “He then paid her $120 and took her home,” Weinstein wrote.

That girl was 13 or 14 years old at the time. That is the definition of predatory. And speaking of his neck tattoo…

Just before Threlkeld was arrested, he added to his already extensive tattoo collection. Across the front of his neck he had these words tattooed in cursive – backward. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

That’s from Dr. Seuss.

Nothing says creepy and possibly satanic child molester like a backwards tattoo of a children’s book on your neck.