PORTLAND, Ore. - It's a teen sensation and, wouldn't you know it, the popularity of the Twilight movies has some preying on those who want to be part of the next movie in that series.
The scam targets people with special access to becoming an extra in the next film.
It started with a morning e-mail Becky Overall saw addressed to her 7-year-old granddaughter: "I noticed your portfolio online and have decided to contact you regarding positions now available as a movie extra for the new The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn movie in Portland."
The Twilight movie series has turned into a teen sensation, with plans for more movies to come.
The e-mail to the 7 year old had a link to this Web site: www.StarExtras.com. "The offer basically said 'If you go to my Web site, you can apply to be an extra on the new Twilight movie that's coming out," Overall said.
The site charges $39.99 per month to access its directory of casting calls throughout the country.
Overall became suspicious of the offer, and called the agent who handles her granddaughter's modeling offers. The agent then called Lana Veenker.
Veenker should know. She was one of the casting directors for the first Twilight movie. That movie is one in a series that has filmed in various spots throughout the Portland area including the Columbia Gorge and Washougal, Wash.
Now, Veenker is speaking out because she says some people are giving Web-site operators hundreds of dollars for "something a casting director will probably never see."
"I realized what an easy target these kids are because they're so enthusiastic about the movie," Veenker told KATU. "...To say that they're casting a specific project and that clicking here will shoot an email directly to the casting director [is] blatantly false."
The casting director for the films is warning teens to be wary of any Web-based claims of special access for casting of any sequels: "I just didn't want to see [this] happen - it makes me mad," Veenker said.
Meanwhile, it's making Overall that much more suspicious of other online offers.
"You never know who these people are that are out there," Overall said. "Our biggest concern has been how they contacted us, how they found us, because we didn't have our personal information out there."
The e-mails don't ask for money up front - and because of disclaimers on parts of the Web site the site may not technically be illegal. Still, Overall received another e-mail offer from the same people "following up" to help her granddaughter become an extra in the next Twilight movie.
KATU will keep you posted if free, legitimate casting calls for the movie occur in the Portland metropolitan area.