Update: Adoption Fraud Scam

I called Detective Hudson back a few minutes ago – he gave me an update and asked for some information. I was quite happy to oblige, really. Apparently this woman who was defrauding couples has actually done this before. In this case, she was actually saying her name was Jennifer Silver (since I guess I didn’t crop that out on the photos online – oops.)

At any rate, he asked if I would be willing to be listed as a ‘victim’ in the case – which is helpful for them in building the case and proving that the woman is not, in fact, me. The victimization is basically one of stealing my identity. I asked what would be involved for me, and he said that I may have to fly down to Texas to testify in the trial, which apparently wouldn’t happen for at least a year. Federal court, he tells me, moves very slowly.

I said he could list me as a victim in the case (I like to be helpful, after all, and I’m all about justice and such.) An FBI agent actually takes over from here, but Hudson said if I had any more questions I was welcome to call and ask him. He really was quite nice.

A trip to texas may be in my future next year. He assured me that they would pay for the flight. Life can be such an adventure!

Moody

I’m feeling pretty moody today. Yesterday and today at work have both been pretty productive, but I’m sitting in my cube in a corner all disconnected from everything and it’s bothering me today. I have to go for lunch shortly, and I’m hungry, but I really want to go for lunch with people, and everyone’s otherwise occupied it seems.

Trying to plan my maternity leave dates now. I think there’s about a month left here at work for me. Hopefully they find a suitable replacement. Hopefully I won’t go crazy with lonely weirdness. Hopefully I’ll be too busy to be bored.

Welcome to my life: It is nothing if not interesting…

I have a very strange and surreal tale to share with you. The weirdest part is that it’s all true.

There were a bunch of messages on my home phone yesterday from the manager at North Shore X-ray, where I go to get ultrasounds done. She assured me in the message that there was nothing wrong with the baby, but it was very, very important that I phone her back as soon as I could. She even gave me her cell number to make sure I got in touch with her, and at one point called after Adam had arrived at home and made him promise that I would call (she wouldn’t tell him what was up either.)

Wondering what was going on, I phoned her as soon as I got in the door.

She told me that she had received a call from a Sheriff’s office in Placer County, California, and had confirmed with the RCMP that it was a legitimate call. They had just arrested someone in Alice, Texas, on several counts of fraud. Apparently a woman had been contacting adoption agencies, saying she was pregnant and wanted to give up her child for adoption. She sent them a bunch of paperwork and the adoption places put her in contact with a few hopeful people who wished to adopt. Here’s an excerpt from the Press Release:

The suspect asked for monetary expenses to be covered and the victims forwarded these funds to her. Victims in Placer County flew to San Antonio to be present for the birth of the child only to find that they had been defrauded. Another victim was due to fly to San Antonio on May 21st but they were contacted by The Placer County Sheriff’s Department and advised of the scheme.

Placer County Detectives and the FBI arranged for what the suspect thought would be a delivering of the birthing expense money. When the suspect arrived to pick up the money she was taken into custody.

So here’s where it gets weird.

They started investigating the documents and paperwork she had sent to the hopeful future adoptive parents, and traced an ultrasound picture back to the North Shore X-Ray clinic. They called the clinic and spoke to the manager there, who looked up the file and found out it was the Ultra Magnus ultrasound. I’m going to have to assume the woman in Texas got them off Flickr, since they’re not exactly hidden or anything. She couldn’t give out my contact information (with good reason; privacy laws forbid such things) but took his number and said she would contact me and have me call them if I wanted to.

Fast forward to this morning. I’m sitting here with a California number in hand for a detective Jim Hudson. I just called him a few minutes ago; it was a very T.V. moment, because he answered the phone by just saying “Hudson.” For some reason I thought I was going to get a switchboard or receptionist or something, so it threw me off for a second. I told him where I was calling from and he sounded pleased to hear from me, but told me that he was just in the middle of something else right now and could he call me back in a few minutes?

So now I’m just waiting for him to call me back.

Just. Plain. Weird.

I’ll let you know what happens next… I’m keeping this friends-only until I know more, I think.

Have some Twitters

  • 14:54 Feeling kind of ill today. I blame overly hot buses full and muggy rain. #
  • 17:21 At least the queasy from this morning hasn’t come back. #

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Sometimes I really hate the bus…

This morning was a hellish bus ride in to work. I suppose it doesn’t help that I spent half the night awake and uncomfortable, but the bus ride seemed particularly bad this morning.

There was thunder and lightning this morning when I got up, which was cool. We don’t get that very often in Vancouver. It was pouring rain when I left for work, but still warm enough to be comfortable out. For some reason, however, the bus drivers on both buses had the heat cranked. The first bus someone had opened a window on, which helped immensely, but the heat was definitely making me queasy. The second bus, unfortunately, was a raging inferno of heat blasting in my face wherever I went.

By the end of the trip I was very nearly ready to throw up right where I sat. Fortunately once I was back in the fresh, cool, damp air outside, I felt immediately better.

I’m still not feeling great, but at least imminent puking is no longer an issue.

Ultra Magnus is awake and kicking up a storm. I think he/she may be doing somersaults.

Maternity Leave planning

Today at work I posted the job opportunity for my maternity leave coverage on our website. It was very weird. On one hand I’m pretty excited that time is getting so short. On the other, it is a strange feeling to post your own position online. My brain fills with all sorts of questions… What if I don’t want to come back? What if my replacement is way better at things than I am and work starts to wish they could keep them around instead? What if everything changes and I come back to absolute chaos? What if nothing gets done of the major projects I’ve been involved in starting, and I come back and have to pick up the pieces? It makes me just a little crazy, so I try not to think too much about it.

The exciting part, of course, it just how quickly everything is happening now. We’re well past half way through May. June is bound to go quickly. My plan is to go on maternity leave around the beginning to middle of July, since I’m due at the end of July or so. That should give me some time to sit around the house bored while I wait for Ultra Magnus to come out. Plus, it gives me time to go all nesting/housecleaning or something.

Speaking of Ultra Magnus, he/she is awake and kicking yet again. I could feel a foot sticking out of me the other day. I like to sit around in my rocking chair watch my belly undulate with the baby’s movements. Adam joins me regularly and stares at it – it’s more entertaining than any television I’ve ever watched.

I’m starting to worry about what we have left to buy to prepare for the impending baby. I think we still need a stroller and a dresser/change table type thing for baby clothes. I hope I have enough cloth diapers to start with, but I really don’t know if I have the right sizes – how do you size for something that you can’t really see? How do you know what sizes will work? I think for the first week we may have to go disposable, just to keep things simple. I’ll pick up some eco-friendly disposables soon. I hope to transition to cloth quickly, however, and I really hope to get a diaper service for at least the first few months.

I also very much need to invest in that apartment sized clothes washing machine. I’d like to find a used one, but I’m not sure if that will work out. I may have to just buy it full priced from Wal-Mart (it’s cheaper there than at London Drugs, sadly, but not by much.) Of course, if I had the option to splurge there’s always the crazy LG washer at 725$, but 370$ is pricey enough, really. The only one of the three portable machines I’ve seen that’s Energy Star qualified is the Danby (the cheapest of them, w00t) so really that’s my best option.

Yes, I will buy appliances based entirely on Energy Star Compliance. Now if only I could find a used one, or a reasonable sale price. 369$ is still a lot of money.

I really need to sit down and make a list of what I still need.

It is now time to corrupt my unborn child by watching Adam play some Grand Theft Auto IV. Wooohoo!

Have some Twitters

  • 09:50 I had forgotten how long it takes to get ANYWHERE by transit on a holiday schedule… #

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Have some Twitters

  • 12:52 Can’t believe the car co-op is being picky about two weeks worth of driving record. #
  • 13:43 There’s a little black spot on the sun today #
  • 15:43 @wilw Get Ye Flask! #

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