Bogus accounts pretending to be Irish model agencies target children, teens and young women urging them to send bikini pictures
Two leading Irish modelling agencies have warned people about bogus social media accounts soliciting 'bikini pictures' from aspiring models.
Dublin based agencies Assets and 1st Option have both taken to their legitimate social media accounts in recent days to advise people that they do not scout for new talent by asking for pictures on social media.
1st Option management warned that an individual is using various platforms, including Snapchat, to ask "children, young girls and teenagers" to send photographs.
"The individual is also contacting parents of young girls through websites.
"If you are approached by anyone, saying they are from 1st Option, please report them immediately.
"We have never, nor will we ever, sign up or give modeling contracts via social media or third party websites, without meeting in person first.
"We will never contact parents of children, young girls and teenagers for photographs unless they have contacted us first."
Meanwhile, Assets Model Agency, also issued a similar warning on their Facebook page on Friday.
The company stressed that no agency "will contact you through social media asking for bikini pictures for representation".
"If you are interested in modelling, be it child, commercial or fashion modelling, please do not email polaroids in bikini's or underwear to any social media account pertaining to work in an Agency or scout for an Agency," the warning continues.
"Please do a little research and contact the agencies directly. We are always here to answer questions and help as best we can. We also do not ask you to email in bikini polaroids and usually do these from our office which are sent in strict confidence to clients or agencies abroad on request.
"Social media has so many benefits but unfortunately some people use it for the wrong reasons. A person that you may think looks completely authentic may be the complete opposite."
Model boss Derek Daniels of Assets told Independent.ie that anyone who has any suspicion at all should contact the agency directly.
"People can make an appointment with reputable agencies... we hold open days.
"We would never ask people to send pictures via Instagram or anything else," he added.
Mr Daniels said he often advises girls who are travelling abroad on how to ensure that they are using a reputable agency but pointed out that there are only a handful of agencies in Ireland and they are well-known.