Fresh-faced teenager Traci Curtis was dreaming of modelling stardom when offered big cash for a photo shoot.
But her high hopes were soon dashed when she discovered it was part of a bogus scheme to get her to pose semi-nude.
The 18-year-old and police are now warning other girls not to be so easily fooled.
The Pakeha man, in his mid-30s, with dark hair, claims to be a hot-shot fashion photographer and first approached Traci while she was working at Westgate mall.
"He asked if I had done any modelling before," Traci says.
"He was offering to do a photo shoot for an ad for $500."
She agreed and soon a contract arrived in the post.
The Massey resident says things began to get "weird" when he chose to take pictures at a motel.
"I told him I wanted to do it in his studio at the modelling company," she says.
"But he said since he was working by himself he would have to do it in a motel room."
She brought along a friend but she wasn’t allowed in the room and he then asked Traci to pose provocatively in a bikini and lingerie.
Traci became more suspicious when the man produced a small digital camera.
"He said his car got stolen along with all the camera gear," she says.
"But he seemed all right and quite professional."
Traci was then given a lollipop as a prop and asked to take her top off.
"I said no, right from the beginning," she says.
But he told her it would "open up options for her" and he reassured her she could cover herself with her arms.
To which she finally obliged.
Traci realised her mistake a few days later and told her father.
They contacted police and discovered the man had falsified his name and the modelling company.
"The photos could be on the internet for all I know," Traci says.
"I’m so embarrassed at myself for letting it get to this.
"But I wanted to speak up if he’s doing it to other girls."
Massey acting sergeant Dean Furminger says young women need to be cautious.
"This is a big warning for others – a young girl could be tempted by a couple of hundred dollars," he says.
Because Traci is over 18 the police are unable to lay charges but Mr Furminger says young girls need to be wary before getting into similar situations.
"I can guarantee he’s doing this all over the place," he says.
Call Mr Furminger on 832-4091 to report other incidents of this nature.
- Western Leader
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