My partner currently applies to Los Angeles-based castings for actors. Recently she was scammed by an organization called “Monster Castings”, which uses certain pressure methods to trick hopeful performers into coughing up $295:
- First, the subject is notified that they are pre-qualified for a spot in a reality television show; these shows are typically high profile — enough notoriety that it would be ridiculous for someone to make up an offer.
- Second, the subject is told that they are to send in some photos and expect a phone interview once the photos are received.
- Third, during the phone interview (with a Michael Cole), the subject is told that they have been chosen out of only a few other candidates due to their qualities. They are then informed that they will get back to the subject by phone the next morning if the results went well.
- Fourth, the next morning, Monster Castings calls the subject to inform them that they are now qualified. They will now offer a workshop that will prepare the subject for television for $295.
- The subject accepts and over the phone provides their credit or debit card information. They are then emailed a receipt for $295.
Upon reading the fine print of the Monster Castings website, they are not in fact vetting people for these reality television shows, but tentatively creating overpriced photo portfolios. That is not explicitly stated, but instead it’s positioned as “workshop” to prepare the actor for the show.
So here is a brief report on what I’ve seen with Monster Castings and related websites like Nonscripted.tv
- Twitter – reposted content, same exact casting post every few days or months. Must check to see difference in activity between May and August, as well as October 2016.
- Facebook – two mentions by people, both show no evidence they actually participated in the shows they were celebrating in connection with Monster.
- Brianna Beatty created a GoFundMe in December 1, 2017 to fund her fee. Exact process as my partner’s. Also done by a Michael Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Instagram – badly formatted images of reality TV shows. First post January 24, 2017.
- Incorporation Date: 2015-10-23
- Dissolution: 2016-10-18 (s. 210)
- Created by Puneet Kreuger Singh (29 Doddington Drive, Toronto, ON M8Y 1S3, Canada. He is the main character of all these sites.
- Corporation Status: Dissolved. Open Corp Data
- Michael Cole (Contacting since November 2017)
- Puneet Kreuger Singh (Founder in 2015) Website
- Mitch Matthews, Director
- Zoey Butcher, Web Services
- Sharon Klienfield, Talent Listing Agent
- 1154 Warden Avenue, Suite 173, Toronto, ON, M1R 0A1 Canada
- Created 2015-06-22 (whois.net)
- Backend by Mindcraft.ca (local rather than premade) – also found on nonscripted.tv.
- Photos hosted by https://imgbb.com
- File opened 17-04-28
- Problems with Product/Service 18-07-02
- Advertising / Sales Issues 17-08-14
- Positive reviews between May and August of 2017 (possibly by “employees” of Monster Castings)
- Address listed: 210 – 505 Consumers Rd North York, ON M2J 4V8
Fame Talent Agency, Inc.
- Created: 16-07-2006
- Corporation #: 9821422
- Same address as Monster Castings (1154 Warden Avenue, Suite 173, Toronto, ON, M1R 0A1 Canada)
- Created 11-10-14 (whois.net)
- Also based in Toronto, Canada, and shares HTML code with Monster Castings, namely a template developed by “mindcraft.ca”
- Official: mindcraft, inc.
- Registrant: Kreuger Singh, 29 Camden Street Suite Suite 408, Toronto ON M5V 1V2 Canada, FAX: 416 603-0477, PHN: 416 573 5969, email@example.com
- Web design company… but uses a free design template by html5up.net?
- Creation: 00-11-13
- Registrar: Endless Communications, Inc.
- 29 Camden St. – Suite #302 Toronto, Ontario
Products of Kreuger Singh:
- gaiacalendar: a creation of some sort of spiritual calendar.
- kreuger.me: he makes experimental dance music or something. Site contains several references to individuals connected to Monster Castings and Nonscripted, like the owner of Endless Communications.
It is fascinating to see the inner workings of a scam artist. Singh is a busy guy, not set on just making music or new age calendars: he wants to prey on those looking to make it on a television show because maybe he knows something about those interested in “reality television”: three times over, people announced their association with Monster Castings, how they’re getting up in the world, but suddenly their success becomes surprisingly quiet: they never got on those shows, nor did they ever even leave their hometown, but rather kept on posting their inane lives as usual. The egoism, which becomes so emboldened by Monster Castings call, is too proud to admit they paid $300 into a scam — or at least tried to as the GoFundMe websites suggest.
When someone Googles Monster Castings or Nonscripted, there is no explicit statement that they are a scam. So here it is now.