Modelling scam victims mortified after naked pics shared on WhatsApp

Believing they would be paid and possibly land a modelling contract, the victims shared compromising images of themselves. Stock photo.
Believing they would be paid and possibly land a modelling contract, the victims shared compromising images of themselves. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/pitinan

A group of women, unwittingly hoodwinked by a “modelling agency”, were mortified to discover naked and scantily-clad photographs of themselves circulating on WhatsApp in and around Worcester.

Victims from the area, about 120km northeast of Cape Town, were duped into sending a portfolio of photographs via WhatsApp in exchange for promised payment of between R10,000 and R20,000 and the opportunity to land modelling contracts.

“I feel so stupid that I fell for the scam,” Nicole, 24, told Netwerk24. She asked to remain anonymous.

“It appeared to me that they were a genuine agency,” said Charlin, 21, who submitted photos of herself in underwear.

Needless to say, the money never materialised and the “agency” contacts went to ground. Friends and family alerted the victims when their pictures started circulating on WhatsApp.

“I feel so embarrassed. I hardly want to stick my head out the door, and for many of the girls it’s even worse,” Charlin told Netwerk24. 

Police were not immediately able to confirm if any of the victims had officially reported the scam.

Numerous people have fallen for similar scams, with many turning into extortion nightmares for the victims.

The Sunday Times previously reported how a “sexy selfie” ended up costing a Johannesburg businessman R170,000 when he was forced to pay a beautiful woman — who turned out to be an extortionist and a man — not to share the incriminating images with his wife and children.

South African social media law expert Emma Sadleir warns in tips for staying safe online on her website that sharing nudes is never a good idea.

“Do not send, take or ask for nudes. If you or the subject of the nudes are under 18, doing so can be a criminal offence relating to child pornography.

“If someone asks you to send them any pornographic material [like sexy or naked pictures], do not send them anything.”


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