THE VICTORIA'S SECRET MODEL SCAM What Every Woman Should Know About It!
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I am risking embarrassment by showing you the video I created above, but I don't want to just be a victim. I WANT TO FIGHT BACK and I want to show women, how you too can easily become a victim of scam. Please read this and pass this info onto WOMEN of ALL AGES that you know. It may not be Victoria's Secret, but it can be the same concept, but using different company names (or different age group or different body type, etc.) HERE'S HOW THIS SCAM WORKS! WARNING: Pay CLOSE Attention...this can SAVE A LIFE! This SCAM is DANGEROUS!
PART 1 - The SEED: In January 2008, a handsome 32 year old Italian man who went by the name, Daniel Develinio, wrote to me on myspace at my page: www.myspace.com/beautyandpassion . His note was short and sweet. It just basically stated how he was a fashion photographer and he just wanted to compliment me on my pictures and let me know how "photogenic" he thought I was, and told me to keep up the good work. That was the end of his note. I went to his profile on myspace (which is no longer there), but at the time I saw a very handsome man, with 8 pictures of himself, the pictures were taken at different times because some had short hair and some had long hair, and all pictures of him were very clear. His page also had ethnic (cultural type) music on it, and a questionaire with answers about him. It also stated he was a fashion photographer and that he made between $150,000 - $200,000 a year. He had created his profile about 3 months before his first note to me. NOTICE: His page looked real and friendly.
I wrote him back and told him that I liked his pictures too and asked if they were of him or of someone that he had photographed. He wrote back and said they were of him and that he use to be a Calvin Klein model, but now he was a photographer which had always been his number 1 love.
We wrote to each other about 2 or 3 more times that day and that was it for 2 months. The last notes that day was just him basically again complimenting on my pictures and me thanking him and we spoke a little about California (which is where I'm from originally and where he supposedly lives now). He NEVER tried to "pick me up" which gave me the impression that he truly was only writing me to give me "props" on my pics. I told him that I didn't want to take up anymore of his time, therefore, I wouldn't be writing again. He wrote back one last time that day and said that I could write to him at any time. So we ended...for a while.READ ON...
Part 2 - The SPROUT: In March I went through my myspace mail looking for a particular woman's profile, and I went all the way back to January, and that's when I found Daniel's messages. At that point I had already been thinking to myself that I would visit California in June. When I saw his profile, I remembered that he lived in California and that he was a photographer. I previously had professional pictures taken of me for the first time in September 2007 (which are some of the pictures that you see of me with full clothing on in the video above as well as the pictures he had complimented me on originally), I had also been thinking that would like to get more professional pictures taken. So I decided to write Daniel and ask if he would photograph me when I go to California. NOTICE: Daniel, had been a real gentlemen, very professional, charming and handsome, and he had laid the ground work for me to contact him again. This is a slick way to keep him from looking like a PREDATOR!
Part 3 - The TRAP: A Couple of days later Daniel wrote to me and stated that he would love to take pictures of me, but he couldn't because he was a Fashion Photographer for Victoria's Secret, and would go against his contract. However, he invited me to become a VS Mature Model because VS was opening up a new division of models for women 35 years and older, and that I would be perfect for it. WOW, what a compliment! I immediately wrote him back and told him that I was interested in the offer. He wrote me back, but each time he wrote back slowly, it would always take a couple of days. He began explaining why they were looking for models over 35 (bottom line was to increase their income by targeting older women with more money than younger women). He explained how the entire fashion industry was beginning this trend, as well as having plus size modeling divisions. HE GAVE ME FULL DETAILS in multiple emails, again...each time writing back every couple of days. He finally sent me an email with PAYRATES AND BENEFITS (which you can imagine were ALL AWESOME)! It also even included a 3 MONTH PAID TRAINING (even while we were training we were to make $8000 a month, free room and board, train in Hollywood, CA and KEEP EVERY SINGLE THING WE MODELED IN...this was just training...after training, the rates and benefits were even greater). He told me not to worry that I would get the job, but he was a part of the hiring process and that they had decided to hire from "real life" because agencies (which is what they usually use) did not have "mature and curvy models" to represent older women (height wasn't an issue). By this time...HE HAD ME! NOTICE: He kept me excited and increased my desire by not responding to me quickly...HE ALWAYS MADE ME WAIT 2 - 5 DAYS BEFORE RESPONDING TO ME. He would always apologize for not responding sooner but this was their busy season and they were busy travelling around the world doing photo shoots.
Part 4 - The KILL: At this point it was time for me to get my file created and my portfolio sent to Victoria's Secret Human Resources. He gave me the instructions on EXACTLY how my portfolio had to be. I had to have 35 Pictures (7 SET Categories and 5 Pictures in Each Category with At least 1 picture in each category taken from behind and looking over my shoulder. The categories and outfits were very detailed, including each picture had to be exactly Head to Toe. At this point I was feeling UNEASY and almost decided NOT to do it because I had never taken pictures in outfits that he described, such as "thongs", "see-thru nighties" and string bikinis, and more. HOWEVER, he also included business attire and casual attire as part of the portfolio...so this made me feel that they just want to see what types of outfits we look best in and that this is just a REQUIREMENT for ALL VS Models. I also thought that since I would be a part of the older group that once my group began to actually model that we would wear SEXY clothes and lingerie, but NOT quite as revealing as in the portfolio because at my age (42) we have a lot more body flaws than the models half our age! So I hired a photographer in my area to take the pics (which was expensive), and emailed them 1 by 1 to Daniel, along with my resume. By the way, throughout our communication he had stated over and over to make sure to have my CORRECT address and phone number on my resume. When I emailed him the resume he told me that he could not open up the resume attachment and to resend it in another format (THIS SHOWS HOW IMPORTANT THIS RESUME WAS TO HIM). NOTICE: How detailed he was about exactly how the pictures and resume should be. Look at how thorough he was, and covered all details. He sounds like a man that truly has a lot of knowledge about the fashion industry.
Part 5 - The CONCLUSION: He kept in touch with me on and off for 3 weeks after I sent him the portfolio and resume. I EVEN RECEIVE A VICTORIA'S SECRET MODEL NUMBER (from so-called HR). However, on May 1, he closed his myspace account and told me that he was going to do it, and to just email him on his regular email. He also told me that Judy from HR was going to be contacting me within a couple of days. Two weeks went by and I emailed HR and Daniel (HR was returned as undelievable mail but Daniel's went through). About a week later (the end of May) I emailed Daniel and told him I hadn't heard anything else (training was suppose to begin in May), Daniel's email was also returned to me as undeliverable mail. At that point I was devasted because I knew what had happened and I was afraid. I was afraid because Daniel had my HOME address and he stated so many times how it was important to have that on my resume and in my file. He never asked for my ss# (if he did, I would have thought that he wanted to steal my identity), so since he only wanted MY ADDRESS, I thought of something more devious...such as potential RAPE, ROBBERY OR EVEN MURDER...who knows?! However, HE DID WANT IT FOR A REASON. I was BLESSED that I was staying in a condo complex that I was actually about to move out of (and just moved out of 2 days ago), AND I was staying in a GATED AND GUARDED COMMNITY (guards were at the gate 24 hours a date, as well as cameras everywhere)...this made me not so much an easy target. HOWEVER, MOST PEOPLE DON'T HAVE A GUARD AT THEIR FRONT DOOR, WHICH MEANS THIS CAN PUT MANY WOMEN IN A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION!
I contacted Victoria's Secret customer service (didn't contact them in the beginning because all of the steps mentioned above, at that time, made me feel secure, plus I always thought customer service reps wouldn't in most cases know the new trends, developments and ideas that are happening in the company until they actually happen. Plus the customer service reps are for ordering they have nothing to do with the models and the victoria's secret website doesn't even talk about the VS models except for saying contact a modeling agency if interested in modeling...that's it (and in my mind Daniel had already explained to me thoroughly why they were hiring mature women from "real life" and not from agencies). However, there was no where else to turn and I contacted the customer service, and gave them brief info about my situation and to please forward my email to someone in management that would know about upcoming projects, trends, marketing etc. Less than 2 days later they wrote me back and said it was a scam and that they NEVER hire from "real life" only through specific agencies.
MY THOUGHTS: To be honest with you, I wouldn't have believed the email from customer service if I would have written to them earlier, before Daniel had closed all of his email accounts. Why? Because he was so intelligent, so charming, so down to earth, and he never chased after me. That all made me believe that this man is REAL! Even after all of this happened, it took me about another 2 days AFTER receiving the email from customer service (about 1 week ago), before I actually started believing them, and having this really sink in. I WAS IN DENIAL!
That is WHY I FEEL I NEED TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU! I understand how a woman who normally doesn't fall for things like this CAN ACTUALLY FALL FOR A SCAM LIKE THIS...it's because HE'S (or them) IS GOOD AT THIS! PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH OTHER WOMEN OF ALL AGES...because this is a NEWER SCAM and "Daniel" is still out there (even though HE MAY BE USING A DIFFERENT NAME AND/OR DIFFERENT PICS), that's why it's IMPORTANT THAT ALL WOMEN KNOW THIS STORY AND HOW HE OPERATES.
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Monday, June 2, 2008
The Model Scam.
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