UNITED STATES (www.nbc33.com) -- It's a chance to be famous and maybe win money, but not all casting calls for reality shows are the real deal.
There's only one thing that can bring a person who loves cooking, a McDonald’s Manager, and a rocket scientist together. They've lined up to audition for a new NBC cooking competition show called "Food Fighters."
How these potential contestants find out about such auditions varies. Some found out right before the audition, others received emails and some heard by word of mouth.
Fortunately for all of these hopefuls, this was the real deal because emails are one of the ways phony "casting call" scams lure in people.
(sot: belinda reifke, game show fan)
"I was like, 'Oh My God!' and I freaked out and was like, 'Oh Goodness!' 'Wow!'" remarks game show fan, Belinda Reifke.
Reifke loves to win prizes and she's pretty good at it.
"I won a trip to New York City to have a private concert with Rod Stewart. Trip to Cancun. Trip to see Adam Lambert in person. Movie tickets. There are so many things I can't remember! It's just so much fun," Reifke says.
But she really wants to be on a game show like Deal or No Deal with Howie Mandel. So when and email telling her she’d been selected for the show arrived she was elated. But when she clicked on the link to confirm, nothing happened. Worried she'd just unleashed a virus, she called NBC looking for help.
NBC Entertainment says they see these kind of email scams all the time sometimes the links do lead to a virus, allowing others to steal your information. Others want money.
Plenty of suspicious looking casting calls can be found within just a few minutes of searching through Google.
NBC says "at last count there were more than four fake casting web sites for the Voice charging anywhere from $10 to $2,000 for a 'private casting' for the Voice.""
Erin Tomasello, a casting producer, says “if someone is asking your for money, red alert, red flag guys. It's not a real casting call. We're paid to find you!"
Tomasello has been a casting producer for ten years. And she was at the open casting call for Food Fighters.
Other experts say don't give away cash. Real shows never ask you to pay to play. Do your homework. New shows may not have a title or a website, but check out the production company. Research the name of the casting producer and make sure the show is still on the air.
Looking back, Reifke says she should have realized her email was fake because Deal or No Deal went off the American airwaves more than three years ago. She admits she probably fell for it because she wanted to be on a game show so badly.
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