Questions / Complaints
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is J.L., and I have a brief question on the NYC
Fame agency. Do you have any information on
this company that you could share with me?
I have spent a lot of time researching the internet
and haven't received too much positive feedback about
this agency. I was hoping you could shed some light on
what I might be getting myself into if I put any money
in their hands.
I consider myself an intelligent individual who has
a bright outlook on the future, but at the same time
I feel ignorant in the fact that I am even thinking about
spending money in this manner.
Do you have any advice on this company? If so, I appreciate
any information you could possibly share with me.
I did notice that this agency was NOT mentioned on your
website so I assume this could be a good sign?
Thanks a million for your time and information and I
look forward to hearing from you.
A quick scan of the NYCFame.com website
and posts at the musicads.com
forum doesn't prove it is a scam, but online
forums where NYC Fame has been discussed
confirm what you said. NYC Fame is getting
a lot of criticism (see example below), or a lot more
Basic research of the company reveals it is owned by
the person who started Model Search America. More importantly,
it looks as if the same type of questionable approach
used by Model Search America is used by NYC Fame.
NYC Fame seems to be focused on aspiring musicians as
much as, or more than, aspiring models: "NYCFAME
Holds FREE Open Calls for Models, Actors, Singers, Songwriters
and Musical Groups."
That statement could be misleading. It says they hold
free open calls, but as the post below says, it is followed
by a sales pitch for a convention. "Once they get
you there they build themselves up and ask for money
to attend the Expo at a later date."
They may use the word "expo" or "showcase" or
the phrase "model search," when it is really
just a convention. If the prices for the convention run
into the hundreds or thousands of dollars, that is where
they make the money, and where you can lose it.
The common scam or scheme that looks like a scam is
when companies don't tell you the complete story up front.
They try to get you worked up or seriously interested,
essentially getting your heart, then you suddenly find
out the hidden costs.
Quite often what is free is the "open call." Then
the "open call" or "audition" turns
out to be a sales pitch for a modeling school (Barbizon)
or a modeling convention (Model Search America/IMTA).
Based on the company's approach, the online complaints,
and the leader's background, NYC Fame is probably not
the best place to start.
Attending a convention is not in and of itself a scam.
The issue is probability. Getting a portfolio of great
pictures by a professional photographer is more like
an investment. Going to a modeling convention is more
like a gamble.
With the portfolio, you come away with at least great
pictures you can use elsewhere, esp. if you keep the
negatives. With a modeling convention, you can leave
with absolutely nothing, and most do. The success rates
(contracts) are usually extremely low.
Modeling conventions could work much better for the
agencies and aspiring models if the leading modeling
agencies which attend the convention were able to screen
the prospective models in advance. In other words, if
the photos were sent in ahead of time.
Basically, the point is why spend hundreds or thousands
of dollars in airfare and/or hotel accommodation etc.
to fly to and stay at a convention only to be told something
that could have been told over the phone after you had
sent your pictures?
The convention does not put the checks and balances
in place. The businesses that run them have a vested
interest in recruiting as many as possible if each one
pays high prices. They can pretend to be selective and
get away with it.
Modeling agencies, on the other hand, won't waste your
time like that, because they make money only when you
get work. Convention organizers make money even if you
Because this industry lacks regulation, you always have
to look for the checks and balances to make good decisions.
Sometimes they are the only thing remotely like "police."
NYC Fame is a SCAM. FIGHT BACK!
March 14, 2002 at 13:49:51
In Reply to: NYC Fame Question!? - Help!
I'm so angry that I let myself be taken in by this BS,
but I'm not going to let this go.
When Dwight Agnor came to Austin, TX, he made a direct
correlation between going to the expo and getting jobs.
The radio and TV ads emphasize a FREE talent search.
Once they get you there they build themselves up and
ask for money to attend the Expo at a later date. That's
I want my deposit back, and all of you folks out there
should get your deposit back.
Call NYC Fame and ask for your money. If they won't
give it back, here's what you should do. There is strength
in numbers, don't be shy.
File a complaint w/ BBB:
* NYC Fame already has 5 complaints logged...
File a complaint w/ the Federal Trade Commission:
File a complaint w/ the NY Attorney General Consumer
File a complaint w/ the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs:
Consumer Complaint Division
New York, NY 10004
While doing research I found www.Modeling Scams, they
have a lot of good information.
Re: NYC Fame Question!? - Positive comments?
March 25, 2002 at 14:22:57:
First, let me inform all that I am not in the modeling
or talent business. I work at a large firm in the I/T
field, and did so when I met Mr. Agnor.
Let me give you one fine example of Mr. Agnor's long
history of fraud... I was there in 1989 when he met a
fellow in Arlington, Virginia, the late Mike Myers.
Mike had started up a small modeling agency named Washington
Models — a small venture, but he had good
photographers like my friend Paul Miller. I've known
Paul since college days. He did and still does good work.
What I saw unfold in the short time after Agnor met
the fine folks at Washington Models was truly shocking.
After convincing the owner into giving him a consulting
position with the agency, it was no more [than] two months
before the agency was completely bankrupt, my friend
Mike was penniless, and Mr. Agnor was on a plane headed
to downtown Manhattan to start up the supposed Manhattan
Models with Mike's money.
I have never before seen such an example of a con artist
taking ahold of someone else's assets and completely
On top of this, I did witness him saying at Washington
Models open calls that "there's work guaranteed
for EVERYONE in this room," to a room full of unsuspecting
It took my friend Mike 10 years to dig out of bankruptcy,
and I saw how it aged him. If you want an eyewitness
to the selfish acts of this Agnor, just feel free to
ask me. There is more.
To Whom It May Concern:
NYC Fame had a modeling convention
scheduled for September 2001.
I sent in the deposit of $225. The rest was due at the
show, but the show was cancelled due to September 11th.
I couldn't reschedule the event, so I asked for a refund.
At first they couldn't find records on me, but they
eventually did. However, I was told that I would have
to wait to see if I was allowed the refund for their
They told me to send them back the videos and handbook,
and send a written statement as to why I wanted the refund.
I did so.
A month later I called them, because I had not heard
from them. They said that they had not received or had
misplaced the videos and handbook I sent.
I had been given a paper when I mailed the items with
a number to call to make sure the items arrived —and
But a lady said just to fax them the statement, and
that they would take care of it.
I faxed it twice.
Still I did not hear back from NYC Fame —all I
received in the mail was offers for other shows.
So I called back again in May 2002, and I was told that
they had sent me the papers to sign for the refund.
But I had not received anything. I had my mail from
the old address forwarded to me, and my parents still
lived at my old address.
The woman at NYC Fame said she would resend the papers,
and I received them in June.
I signed them and sent them back.
Last week I had still not heard about the forms, so
I called their offices yet again.
I was told that the computers were not updated, and
that it would be appreciated if I would call at the end
of the week.
So I called NYC Fame that Thursday, and I was told the
person to whom I was to supposed to speak was at lunch,
so I left my number and a message for her to call me
I heard nothing.
So today I called yet again, and I was told once again
the computers were not updated, and to please call again
at the end of the week.
I have been calling for 11 months, and there is still
no end to this!
I can't see how they can take your money within days,
but it is taking now over 11 months, and still no refund.
Due to the constant losing of the paperwork!?
I don't know what to do, so I want others to know of
my problems with them. They did cancel the show, and
they should pay their guests back for a service not received.
But regardless of whether I receive a refund or not,
I want others to be aware of this problem before they
pay NYC Fame.
I worked hard for the money to go to the NYC Fame convention,
and I'm sure other girls are working just as hard for
a dream, but they are receiving nothing in return.
It looks as if you are getting the run around. Contact
the BBB. Get the BBB to call them on the carpet.
Does NYC Fame know what they are doing? Their failure
rate is more than 90%!
The BBB record for NYC Fame:
- Customer Experience
- This firm does not currently qualify for the Bureau's
- This firm is not a licensed modeling agency and cannot
actively seek out employment for models. The firm holds
conventions at which prospective models pay a fee to
meet with modeling agencies.
- Consumers are advised that fewer than 10%
of the models selected to attend the conventions
are chosen for agency representation.
- In addition, there is no guarantee that if chosen,
you will be able to earn any money modeling.
- . . .
- Closed Complaints
- Total number of complaints processed by the BBB in
last 36 months: 11
Total number of complaints processed by the BBB in last 12
- Complaints Concerned (Please understand that complaints
may concern more than one issue)
- Credit/Billing Issues: 1
Delivery Issues: 1
Defective/Damaged Merchandise: 1
Failure to Provide Service: 1
Selling Practices: 7
Miscellaneous Issues: 1
- Outcome of all complaints
Full Adjustment: 3
Partial Adjustment: 2
- Additional Business Names
- NYC Federation of Actors Models & Entertainers