People have been conned out of large sums of money by a company claiming it could help them get work on television, a BBC investigation has revealed.
Nottingham-based Broadcast Support advertised in magazines and placed banners illegally on roundabouts and busy road junctions.
Its website said everyone was suitable for television and voiceover work.
The company promised clients would find lucrative media work and people paid for costly showreels and websites.
The BBC Inside Out East Midlands investigation discovered people in tears and unable to sleep after losing their life savings to the scam.
The man behind the company is Carl Mould. He has also used the names Carl Nicholas, Nicholas Karl and Carl Mole.
Vulnerable, elderly people were among those taken in by the company's promises.
In one case a recently widowed woman spent £21,000 on a poor-quality DVD showreel and website.
John Dick from Derbyshire spent £10,000 on a DVD and a website page.
He said it was a chance to earn some extra money.
"I was told I had everything that the industry wanted in the way of personality, voice, whatever.
"You're given that confidence by people like this to do better, at a cost, and that's the brunt - you don't need any of this to be on an agency's book."
Actor Clive Hurst has campaigned for tough action against such scams and has taken up Mr Dick's case.
"This particular case is the worst case I've ever come across and I'm absolutely gobsmacked at the amounts involved," he said.
The company claimed a wealth of experience and contacts within the media industry.
The company carried BBC logos and other industry names on its website without permission from those organisations.
The BBC's litigation department forced Broadcast Support to remove all copyrighted logos from its site.
Other logos used without consent include Disney, Channel Four and the Discovery Channel.
Carl Mould previously worked in the building trade.
He was jailed for three years in 2001 for deception.
Mr Mould keeps within the law on his website by saying he is not an agent.
In a statement he said: "Broadcast Support is not an employment agency and does not hold itself out as being such.
"We seek to provide individuals who wish to try and enter the broadcasting industry with the tools and materials to maximise their potential.
"We do not guarantee work and the materials we provide are in line with industry norms and standards, as is our pricing. We have many satisfied clients."
Carl Mould has served a jail term for deception