CONSUMER watchdogs have warned wannabe models to watch out for duff agencies.

Consumer Direct in Yorkshire is urging people to think twice before signing up to so-called modelling agencies that offer ‘professional’ photographs and the possibility of future modelling work.

Last year, the government advice service received more than 1,700 complaints about photographers and modelling agencies, a 40% rise over the previous year.

While some reputable agencies may meet their customers’ expectations, Consumer Direct has received a number of calls from people who have paid up-front fees at mass ‘casting’ sessions at hotels, only to be disappointed when the anticipated modelling work fails to materialise and they are left with poor quality photographs.

John Field, centre manager at Consumer Direct Yorkshire and the Humber, warns: “The rise in complaints we have seen in the last year illustrates the need for caution.

“Most reputable agencies would not resort to mass castings at hotels nor seek up front fees with no guarantee of work.

“Think twice before going.”