Want to be in a television commercials? Sure, cough up $1,000 first.
A 59-year-old aspiring model, Mr Ho, was told that by a modelling agency. And instalments are accepted too if payment cannot be made upfront.
According to Shin Min Daily News, Mr Ho first heard of the modelling agency through his instructor at an employment training class.
At his instructor's encouragement, Mr Ho called the modelling agency for an interview - and was almost cheated of $1,000. He is unemployed.
Mr Ho told the Chinese daily that the agency advertised for male and female models of all ages for television and wedding commercials.
The advertisement stressed that the model's looks did not matter and that there was no need to pay an enrolment fee.
When he made a trip down to the agency's office, which was located in a deserted industrial building in Whampoa, he discovered that that its interior was filled with clothes, props and a huge camera.
There was no one around, save for the boss working alone, noticed Mr Ho.
The boss, who was around 50 years of age, told Mr Ho that he had filmed a commercial with local celebrity Fann Wong and that many of the models under his charge earned a lot of money.
But barely five minutes into their conversation, the boss requested for Mr Ho to pay $1,000 as fees for creating his portfolio and for deportment courses.
When Mr Ho insisted that $1,000 was too expensive, the boss then told him he could pay $100 instalments. Mr Ho decided to decline the offer.
'It's sabotage', says agency boss
When questioned by Shin Min, the boss of the agency replied, saying that every agent would ask for such fees and that aspiring models who found the fee expensive need not shoot their portfolio.
The boss also said this was the first time that someone had complained against him in his 20 years of experience.
As such, he suspected that the complaint was an act of sabotage by someone in the same industry.
When the reporter asked how many of his models get television commercial gigs, he said that "it depends on the person's potential."
According to Jeffrey Chung, the director of Jeffrey Chung models, there are currently about 40 modelling agencies in Singapore.
However, more than 30 were fly-by-night operations, he told Shin Min.
And half of the models signed on by his agency have met with dishonest agents before, he added.
Asking aspiring models to pay a fee is not against the rules, but Mr Chung said that his company did not charge for photo-taking and that models only had to pay $250 for deportment classes.
He also pointed out that a lot of agencies would not help models look for assignments, but only collect fees from them.
Such agencies may close down after a year, he added.
Jeffrey also told Shin Min that a lot of modelling agents work from home and some may have another job on the side, thus making their movements hard to track.