Makeup artists reveals horror of being targeted by 'sex traffickers' after going for dream


SCAM: She was not fooled (Pic: HAND OUT/GETTY )

Brooke Luke, 29, was offered the “super desirable” job at the New York publication Brides Magazine via email.

It asked her to work as a makeup artist for an upcoming photo shoot in Melbourne.

She now she claims to have helped exposed a far-reaching scam, reportedly targeting hundreds of people.

Brooke initially told the sender she was interested in the job offer but admits it seemed too good to be true, with them offering so send her an all expenses paid trip.

A second email insisted the job was “legitimate” and the magazine has “never been involved in anything illegitimate or fraudulent”, the Mail Online reports.

The messages were claiming she would be sent from Sydney to Melbourne as well as given more than £1,000 for her makeup work and around £100 an hour for overtime.

But now she thinks the email is linked to a human trafficking scheme and Brides Magazine has issued a statement saying they have no involvement with the message.

The apparent scam could have been set up to trick aspiring makeup artists out of thousands of dollars of their cash or even lure them to hotel rooms.

The real magazine said they taking steps to put an end to the fake emails using their brand.

EMAIL: The message has been sent to hundreds (Pic: HAND OUT)

It all began when Brooke was sent the message from someone describing themselves as the “editorial assistant Rosemary Leger”.

It read: “Brides Magazine is currently looking out for markup artists for its September 2019 issue.

“Your contact was found via your social media page while looking out for talents that will suit the case.

“Our senior editor was quite impressed with your portfolio and mandated me to get in touch with you so as to know if you would like to work with us on this shoot, do not hesitate to get back to me so that I may provide you with further information.”

Brooke says she knew the message from the Gmail account was fake but the sender claimed she had “nothing to worry about”.

She said: “When I first received the email, I thought it was a little odd that they reached out to myself as I am not an editorial makeup artist, but I was still excited that a company from New York had reached out to me and I could possibly endeavour a new part of my career.”

Adding: “I was suspicious about the email address, as it was under a account, but the email ended in a confidentiality agreement so I thought maybe this could be real.”

Hundreds of women have now come forward claiming to have received similar emails, telling them to hand over their passport, driver’s license, bank details or even make a $1,000 payment upfront with Bitcoin.

OFFER: They offered her the job of a lifetime (Pic: GETTY)

ARTIST: She runs her own company (Pic: INSTAGRAM )

“I decided to ask makeup groups on Facebook if these emails were real or fake.

“I got tonnes of comments saying it was fake, but one that stood out, in particular, told me to search ‘Brides Magazine Scam’ on YouTube as others are talking about it,” she said.

“I watched the videos that came up and was so shocked to see that this was linked to human trafficking. It actually made me very upset that I could have possibly fallen into this trap and who knows what could have happened to me.

“I felt completely violated and actually pretty unsafe once I figured everything out.”

A real Editorial assistant called Rosemary Leger has also come forward, thanking Brooke for her work exposing the scam.

Brides Magazine editors issued said in an official statement earlier this month: “While we love to engage with our audience and real-life brides, if and when Brides desires to use models, makeup artists, and other industry professionals, it is through agencies and all our email communications use in our email addresses.

“Brides also never posts modelling or makeup artist jobs to or uses websites to recruit industry professionals.”


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