Ego & Fame Lure
Compliments or offers of fame and fortune are sometimes used to lure youngsters
into abuse or abduction. Youngsters, particularly middle school students, can be
attracted by the promise of a modeling job, the chance to star in a commercial,
or a spot in a talent or beauty contest. Students may also be enticed by fake offers
of athletic scholarships or sport contracts.
Youngsters are offered an immediate audition or private tryout and told to keep
it a secret from parents. Phony auditions are held in hotel rooms or other non-public
places that put youngsters at risk of assault or worse. Photo and filming sessions
often begin harmlessly, then escalate into exploitation and even pornography.
Warn youngsters that appeals to the ego may quickly cloud judgment. Stress that
for safety's sake, parents or guardians must chaperone all talent pursuits. Explain
that by law, a parent has to co-sign legal contracts for kids under 18. Parents,
credentials of talent scouts should be thoroughly verified prior to any audition
or photo session.