The Casting Call: Don’t fall victim to scam artists making questionable promises of fame

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(WHNT) - A Pisgah man tells us he was looking for a job when he found an advertisement for "Casting 360."  He called them, but they wanted money up front to help him start a career as an actor.

"She'd guarantee that they would get me a job in commercials or small parts in movies and stuff like that within 90 days and said i could make up to $300 to $500 a day."

Since then, Charles Centers says they've been calling him almost every day wanting him to pay.

Centers says he never really entertained the notion of becoming an actor, but he called the number in the Casting 360 ad just to see what they'd say.  He says they told him he could make hundreds of dollars a day.

"She'd guarantee that they would get me a job in commercials or small parts in movies and stuff like that," he said.

Casting 360 is basically just a web page. For $1.98, they'll post your resume on their site for casting agents the world over to see. The catch is they want $45 per month for you to be able to use the site. If after 90 days you're not satisfied, they'll give you the $1.98 back.

WHNT News 19's Al Whitaker called them to see what they'd charge to make him a star.  Al told the lady on the line some people tell him he sounds a bit like Elvis Presley.  He even sang some of "Love Me Tender" for her.

"Oh that's great! So you have a potential to be in entertainment industries," she said.  "Are you going to register with us today, sir?"

Casting 360 was ready to take Al's money and try to lead him to believe there were literally hundreds of television shows and movies being filmed, and all just waiting on him to show up.  For $45 a month, that is!

It only took a phone call to get these people to stop calling Mr. Centers, but what we found interesting was what they were trying to sell: Dreams.

They prey upon people who dream of a career in the movies or on the runway as a model. Their only guarantee is that they will take money from your pocket.

Gayle Cochran has been a talent coach and agent for more than two decades. She says in this industry there simply are no true guarantees.

"Even models and actors that are working at a national level, that have done major movies, their career is not guaranteed," Cochran said.

A Casting 360 call taker told Al, "We guarantee that you will be contacted within 90 days or the $1.98 is fully refundable back to you, okay?"

The claims they make are incredible. They told Al that they had 300 to 500 new casting calls posted daily in the Tennessee Valley.

When we called back and spoke to a supervisor, we learned the truth. The Casting 360 supervisor admitted to us that,"Casting 360 is not a talent agency, employer or talent scout. The site is only a venue, and we don't promise or facilitate employment."

Elizabeth Garcia with the Better Business Bureau told up that Casting 360 has received over 100 complaints -- all resolved. And, to be fair, the company delivers on their basic promise of putting your portfolio on their website for $1.98.

Now, if you want to actually use the website, that's gonna cost you $45 a month.

After following up with Centers, he told us that Casting 360 has stopped calling him asking him to go sign up and pay.

And talent coach Gayle Cochran tells us if you're really serious about a career in the entertainment industry, the first thing you should do is talk with an established talent agent.