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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.

Prevention
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.

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