How can you avoid getting scammed by fake K-Pop auditions? One fan went undercover to find out.
Evangeline Pang, better known as Ploopy678 on YouTube, purposely auditioned for questionable agencies online to prevent future applicants from falling for their tricks.
Her project was largely inspired by this K-Pop scam that led to Brazilian women being forced into human trafficking. Some of Evangeline’s own subscribers had messaged her about auditions they were applying to through social media platforms like Instagram, and that got her thinking.
How do you distinguish between a scam company and a real K-Pop company? She compiled a list of red flags applicants can look out for, thanks to her alter ego, “Sunny“.
Sunny is a 16-year-old TWICE fan and dancer who desperately wants to become an idol. Evangeline uses a name generator to create a fake name, then gave her old Instagram account a makeover.
She wanted Sunny to seem as believable as possible, so she used the username “dancing_once_04” to give away her interest in dancing, her fandom, and her fake birth year (2004).
For the profile, she used an old photo of herself (with K-Pop inspired touches)…
…and made it painfully obvious that Sunny wants to be an idol.
Then, “Sunny” uploaded dance and vocal covers, posting them over the course of two weeks. Once that was done, it was time to audition! Sunny applied to 10 allegedly fake companies through Instagram, and she was accepted by all of them.
Evangeline talked about her experiences with a few of these companies. The first one gave itself away by using unprofessional grammar and language (slang, personal remarks).
Another company tried to pressure her into sending $70 USD for a “training program” that probably does not exist.
To add pressure, the company stated that the program was highly competitive and that she must pay the fee within 48 hours to avoid losing her spot.
When she did not pay, the company contacted her the next day, claiming that they were still holding a spot for her.
When she still did not pay, the contacted her again and tried to sweeten the deal with a discount.
The final red flag from this “company” was manipulation. They tried to use Sunny’s idol dreams to guilt her into paying the fee.
If you think the first two companies are bad, just wait until you read about the next one! In addition to having poor grammar and other red flags, this company wanted 16-year-old Sunny to send them photos and videos of herself trying out a “sexy concept”.
By being ambiguous about what kind of sexy content they wanted, they created a loophole. If “Sunny” had sent an explicit video or photo, the company could claim that it wasn’t the kind of content they were asking for in the first place, shifting blame to Sunny if the company ever got busted by the police.
The company also implied that Sunny had to prove she has what it takes to be a star by sending them sexy content.
For more, check out all the red flags you need to look for when auditioning for a K-Pop company here, or watch Evangeline’s full video below.