Due to K-Pop’s rise in popularity, there are now more companies in the market than ever. Among these companies, which ones should be avoided at all costs?

Professional idol trainers Kim Se Yeon and Lee Yoon Ji answered this very question in a recent “Comment Defenders” episode of YouTube channel AYO.

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Kim Se Yeon (left) and Lee Yoon Ji (right) | Ayo

The question they were asked was, “What’s the agency that idol applicants should skip no matter what?

Rather than picking a specific company, Lee Yoon Ji stressed that applicants should never meet with one that they aren’t familiar with. The chance that these companies are running scams is very high.

If it’s a company that you don’t know, but you’d meet them no matter what since they’re saying they’ll give you an opportunity, then they’re not an agency but a scam.

— Lee Yoon Ji

A huge, red sign is if the company asks to meet in a café.

It’s an academy-style agency and idol applicants have to pay for expenses. If they say, ‘Let’s meet up at a café,’ you have to suspect first. You need to go to their company no matter what.

— Lee Yoon Ji

Kim Se Yeon agreed, saying, “You should be able to search the company on the internet.

Finally, Lee Yoon Ji suggested that applicants also check the background of the CEO or director of the company to see if they have a history of never debuting their trainees.

It’s also important to see how the CEO or director have treated their idols so far. They promised to debut them, but they’re just getting old and haven’t debuted yet.

— Lee Yoon Ji

Learn more about K-Pop auditions in the full video below!