Do Not Try This on Your Own – Part 2


“This sounds like a sex trafficking scheme.”

My friend Katy texted me after I told her about the craigslist job. We had read scary stories about craigslist meetings gone terribly wrong, I was still eager to find out what this was about.

On the day of the appointment, Katy accompanied me to the building. We didn’t want anyone to think that I had come alone; we strategically planned for all possible outcomes, went through several scenarios, and came up with texting code words in case I needed it.

A text saying “I’m okay” meant that I was not okay.

It meant someone had taken my phone and held me hostage.

I was one building away from the address when I called the number letting them know I had arrived, to our surprise, the same woman answered the phone.

We went into the building and looked around. A lady was standing with two younger girls, I could see she was staring me down. She waited a few minutes until she revealed herself as Betty(not her real name,) the woman on the phone.

She told me to follow her and asked my friend to wait outside. She then asked, “Is that your bodyguard?”

I told her I didn’t feel safe coming to a craigslist ad by myself. Betty responded by telling me to never bring anyone with me to castings. A piece of advice I would never follow, in fact, I don’t think I would be doing this ever again.

Betty led me to the elevator and then to an office space that appeared to be legit. Once I got to the floor, I remember I forgot to take note of the floor we were in. Bad move.

The walls had flowers and a cozy inviting feeling. The office was empty; however, the space was well lit and ventilated.

She walked fast and kept talking as she paced back and forth. As she moved around, her legs looked like the round brackets of a parenthesis. I couldn’t stop staring.

We sat down, and she began telling me I would be perfect for the gigs, and that I had the perfect body and hair for it. She asked for my height, and shoe size. She seemed agitated and spoke very fast. It was irritating.

I was trying to make sense of it all.

She told me I could start making money fast and that It would be a minimum of 500 dollars per shift. She also said they needed foot models all year long, which made me remarkably uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, Katy was frantically texting me to make sure I was okay. I sent her the code word that we created to let her know I was fine. We decided on using a code word; instead of simply saying “I’m okay” in case someone would take my phone and tried to answer as me. (We have watched too many horror movies)

She kept calling me frantically, worried I was already bound and unconscious.

“To start, you need 300 dollars for the booking portfolio,” said Betty.

That’s when it clicked.
This woman is a scammer.

I told her I didn’t have any money on me, she said that’s not a problem, what’s your bank? I can walk with you there.

I ran out of there.
I didn’t, but I should’ve.
Instead, I told her I would only get paid next week.

That’s when we started heading out. Betty told me she would call me next week to check if I had the money ready for the portfolio.

I walked out of the building, and Katy stood there with a horrified look on her face.

“Why didn’t you answer the phone,” she asked.

“I did text you,” I responded.

She told me to check my phone, the message I had sent read,

“I’m okay.”