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Topic : 07/26 Adoptions Scams, Part 1

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Created on : Thursday, February 15, 2007, 04:43:02 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 02/22/07) Dr. Phil explores one of the cruelest cons in America: adoption scams. Couples hoping, wishing, praying to have their own child, become easy targets for heartless con artists who pose online as birthmothers. Meet three women who wanted nothing more than to hold a newborn child in their arms. Instead, they say they were misled, lied to and left devastated by a woman who claimed to be pregnant with a baby meant for them. Now Marie, Crissy and Jen might have a chance to confront Melissa, the woman who deceived them. With the help of private investigator Harold Copus, they track her down, and even Dr. Phil is shocked by what happens when they find her, including their close encounter with a man and his shotgun. When Melissa sits down with Dr. Phil to tell her side of the story, will her victims finally get their chance to confront her face to face? Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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July 30, 2007, 12:33 pm CDT

07/26 Adoptions Scams, Part 1

Quote From: lovernios

Hello, my name is Mike, and I've been conned by her too

I wish to thank Marie for putting a stop to Melissa.
If it weren't for her efforts, I'd be mourning a beautiful dead woman very soon, I'm quite sure.

Backing up a second...

Melissa posed as Bella in a couple of web-hangouts that I frequented.
She was the same 'personna' that Marie was all too familiar with.
Only at these sites, Bella was not scamming prospective adoptive parents, she was creating enormous empathy and love for herself by pretending she had breast cancer, complete with a double mastectomy and 8 rounds of chemotherapy.

She knew her stuff about cancer and various treatments.  She was not an authority or a good patient, she claimed she did not listen to the doctors.  She took the treatments as they came and kept her life as 'normal' as possible, in spite of her disease.
I always felt she was not facing her illness, and it's apparent now as to why it came across that way.

We talked as friends on the phone frequently, she was a pleasure to talk to and quite a revelation in the context that she was very gravely ill, yet her spirit remained bouyant and charming.
We were 'close' for perhaps 7 months.

The 'truth' was such a crushing thing, but as the smoke cleared in my mind, it was clear I was lied to for all those months.  Many others were fooled, though most people kept it at a distance, but there were several of us men who made it clear to her that we cared and were willing to help somehow.

I sent her alot of things, most of the stuff was inexpensive stuff, simple stuff to make her smile and feel good about herself.  Bandanas for her head, head scarfs, chocolate, pink cancer girl stuff, necklaces for her boys, books to read, pens and some stationary etc.  Panties too.  I wanted her to get the feeling that she was still a lovely lady, and still retained tons of feminine beauty depite the ravages of the disease.  

I also sent her 135$ to pay a phone bill once.  Hey, she was alone with 2 small kids in the middle of nowhere.  Me, I was very worried she would need emergency service sometime, and a lack of a telephone became a safety issue, so I paid it for her.

I read alot of posts from the most beautiful women I've ever read from and the message board at http://www.breastcancer.org
I became very familiar with that site, and the nature of breast cancer in general.
The strife and mindless sadness that breast cancer imposes on a female body can be devastating, and yes, it is grave enough to kill.  Young women in their prime are mutilated and their life is sucked out of them with the intensity of the treatments.  Families are consumed with supporting and helping, money is drained and there is an air of fear and loathing in people's hearts.
At the bc.org site, there is tremendous support on many levels, but something with this disease that is a total robbery of the feminine soft beauty and women who survive it struggle mightily with their sexuality and chances at a future with new and old relationships.
My compassion for Bella rested in that type of mindset.

I knew I could not see her, she was insecure and far away, so what we had was perfect for the time.

She said her breasts were to be reconstructed in Beverly Hills.
She said she made over $150,000 a year, but her bills were snowballing, the medical problems were keeping her out of work and her benefits were drying up rapidly.
She also told us she had a 3 year old daughter die from cancer.
She told us she has twin boys
She told us the father of those boys was fighting for freedom in Iraq, but they were not a couple anymore.
She told us she sends random care packages and letters to servicemen overseas all the time, as a basic good gesture.
She presented herself as a devout an honorable Christian.

What this boiled down to many times was simply that Breast Cancer was too serious, scary and intimidating to lie about, it was beyond me to imagine this was someone lying to me.

Amazingly it was.   She got 'stuff' from me, and a phone bill paid.

I was robbed of my good nature and my goodness as a person.
It was sucked out of me.
I was heartfelt and in a state of fear, worry and concern for her for 7 months, and she was lying all the while.  
She manipulated me so much, I am still confused and unsure on just how diabolical this person is.
She obviously was busy, she had very serious scams going concurrently with Marie, Jen and Crissy.

I will say this...  it is a relief to have 'someone' not have Breast Cancer anymore...

My heart thanks Marie, because at some point down the road, Melissa would have had to KILL OFF Bella, and let that 'character' of hers die.
To the deep and resonating sadness of all those that merely wanted to help her.

THAT - would have been aweful.  
Melissa sure was not Bella, so an ENDING would have been required.

Thank You for reading.

Mike



 

    I finally was able to sit down and watch  the shows that I missed last week due to work....I normally play catch-up on monday mornings and then watch the show on monday since I am home then.  Thank goodness for the DVR....so at least I evantually do get to see the dr phil shows I missed!!!!

 

I was appalled that Melissa would do that to those women who wanted more than anything to be able to give a baby a loving home and knowing that used it againist them for some kind of sick twisted emotional gain on her part.  Then she said something about just wanting to be important to someone...I think it is more she liked the feeling of being in control and having people hang on her words and calling and wanting to be in contact with her and I think she felt she could control what was said and how much they knew, etc, etc...and that she liked being in control of someone else. 

 

I think it is very sick and I hope that Melissa gets what she deserves out of all of this...whether it is time in Jail OR being locked away for a long time in a mental instution...one thing is for sure she does not need to be allowed to remain free and be able to scam someone else in the future.

 

I also feel that her son should be placed with someone else who can raise him and teach him how to be responsible and honest and to treat others as he would want to be treated.  Sad that so very many people have forgotten the golden rule which was instilled in me as a child...do unto others as you would have done unto you.  I belibe that children learn by example and right now she is not providing a good example for him to learn from.

 

My heart goes out to Marie, Chrissy and Jen....I truly hope that the 2 of you who have not been able to adopt yet are blessed with a child to love  and cherish and raise in the near future.  I am not good on names but the one who adopted I am very happy to hear that this experince did not stop you from fulfilling your dream and congrats on the adoption of your baby.

 

My Dh  and I are looking into adoption and seeing things like scams like this is pretty scary to  us.   He has 2 children from a previous relationship and we pretty much decided early on that we would like to open our hearts and home to an older child.  We just feel that most couples are looking to adopt a baby when there are so many other children out there who desperatly need to know what it means to have a home and what it means to be loved for who they are and cherished.  We are working with our local DHs so we feel pretty safe in that we won't end up getting scammed...at least I am hoping and praying we won;t be.

 

Now onto what you had to say MIke....not only was she doing the baby scam but also  a breast cancer one...and who knows how many other types of scams.

 

The fact that she pretended to have breast cancer angers me because I watched my beloved Grandma figtht and loose a battle with cancer...she had like 3 type or so one being breast cancer.  My Dh sister is fighting breast cancer right now....and we are watchin her fight her battle now.  My DH oldest child was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at age 3 and underwent several sessions of chemo followed by radiation.  He was told his daugher would not see her 4th birthday by the oncologist...but by the grace of god she not only made it to 4...but is now 10.

Its very very sick for her to not only Fake having the cancer but to also claim to have lost a child to it just to get finanical gain and people to feel sorry for her.

 

There are people out there fighting cancer and their are parents out there having to bury a child because of cancer and to me that is Not something to be taken lightly Or to lie about just to make people feel sorry for you.

 

Like I stated before Melissa needs to be locked away somewhere and not given the chance to hurt another person with any of her scams.

 

ps I am sure I misspelled some words...please forgive me I am kind of in a rush and trying to hurry up and get this typed..

 

 
July 31, 2007, 6:39 pm CDT

for those hurt by Melissa

 

  

When I first watched the show dealing with Milissas adoption fraud, I came away with an uneasy feeling, but tried to dismiss it.  When I saw the rerun, I had a defining moment.  I could have been Melissa.  I don't claim to be able to "see inside her head", but I can relate to some of the things she did, the fraud she perpetuated.  I hope that this post may help some of the people whose hearts she broke.

 

   I was an isolated child, an only child born of emotionally bankrupt  immature parents.  I had the material things I needed, never went hungry, but love was missing from my life's equation.  I would have done anything for kindhearted attention.  It wouldn't have occurred to me that I was hurting someone.  It was all about what I was feeling and  what I was desperate to feel.  I grabbed at any form of kind attention like a drowning man wound grab at a floatation device, mindless of  the fact that it might have been someone else's lifeline...or that it was falsely inflated.

 

   Luckily, the only person I ended up harming was myself.  First, sexual promiscuity, then, prostitution.  The money was secondary to the feeling that someone cared about me, if only for a few moments.  It was like a drug, with no logic or reason.  I 'HAD' to have it.

 

   I married an abusive man, partially because I didn't think I deserved better, partially because I was delighted that anyone would want me.  It didn't matter who.

 

   OK, I've gotten off track, and I'm sorry.  I'm OK today, healed, whole and happy with a good husband.  My point is, Melissa probably really DIDN't know why she did what she did.  She probably WAS sorry, not so much for the people that she hurt, but because that attention was over, and she 'looked' bad.

 

   To have so many people believing her was probably a power trip and an all consuming high.  She probably felt vital, loved, attended to and intregal in peoples lives.  People who have never experienced emotional isolation might never be able to understand how consuming the search for those feelings can be.

 

   To be clear, I don't condone her actions for one second.  What she did to her victims was unconscionable and I am so sorry for their heartbreak.  I'm offering this as a way of aiding their journey to closure through understanding.  I hope this helps someone.

 
August 26, 2007, 8:31 pm CDT

all the best ladies

I sincerely wish you every success ladies in adoption.  Please let us know how you are going
 
September 3, 2007, 8:05 am CDT

07/26 Adoptions Scams, Part 1

Quote From: doggylopaw

 

  

When I first watched the show dealing with Milissas adoption fraud, I came away with an uneasy feeling, but tried to dismiss it.  When I saw the rerun, I had a defining moment.  I could have been Melissa.  I don't claim to be able to "see inside her head", but I can relate to some of the things she did, the fraud she perpetuated.  I hope that this post may help some of the people whose hearts she broke.

 

   I was an isolated child, an only child born of emotionally bankrupt  immature parents.  I had the material things I needed, never went hungry, but love was missing from my life's equation.  I would have done anything for kindhearted attention.  It wouldn't have occurred to me that I was hurting someone.  It was all about what I was feeling and  what I was desperate to feel.  I grabbed at any form of kind attention like a drowning man wound grab at a floatation device, mindless of  the fact that it might have been someone else's lifeline...or that it was falsely inflated.

 

   Luckily, the only person I ended up harming was myself.  First, sexual promiscuity, then, prostitution.  The money was secondary to the feeling that someone cared about me, if only for a few moments.  It was like a drug, with no logic or reason.  I 'HAD' to have it.

 

   I married an abusive man, partially because I didn't think I deserved better, partially because I was delighted that anyone would want me.  It didn't matter who.

 

   OK, I've gotten off track, and I'm sorry.  I'm OK today, healed, whole and happy with a good husband.  My point is, Melissa probably really DIDN't know why she did what she did.  She probably WAS sorry, not so much for the people that she hurt, but because that attention was over, and she 'looked' bad.

 

   To have so many people believing her was probably a power trip and an all consuming high.  She probably felt vital, loved, attended to and intregal in peoples lives.  People who have never experienced emotional isolation might never be able to understand how consuming the search for those feelings can be.

 

   To be clear, I don't condone her actions for one second.  What she did to her victims was unconscionable and I am so sorry for their heartbreak.  I'm offering this as a way of aiding their journey to closure through understanding.  I hope this helps someone.

 thank you for sharing your story, but in NO way do I believe she did it for attention. She did it to CONTROL.  If she just needed attention, why ask for money? why be controling? why pick adoption scams? she had tons of men flocking at her feet, (she was on many many online dating places pretending to be someone else) they gave her attention so why did she seek out couples to scam? She did this for controling and for money.

No other reasons.

 
October 27, 2007, 10:26 pm CDT

I agree

Quote From: justice412

 thank you for sharing your story, but in NO way do I believe she did it for attention. She did it to CONTROL.  If she just needed attention, why ask for money? why be controling? why pick adoption scams? she had tons of men flocking at her feet, (she was on many many online dating places pretending to be someone else) they gave her attention so why did she seek out couples to scam? She did this for controling and for money.

No other reasons.

I agree 100 percent with that statement. It's so very clear. So crystal clear what Melissa's motives were.

 

I hope that, wherever she is, she is getting the kind of "attention" that comes with a lock and key.

 

Hallie

 
March 14, 2008, 1:30 pm CDT

Birthfather and mother scammed ? 6 years of torment

Has anyone in California had a similar situation ?

 

Birth dad and mom contacted 40 years "after" relinquishing child.

Contact by computer only, 40 years later, 6 years of tormenting computer talk.

 

She was told "this was torture" without true contact, she ignored this.

 

Birth dad "driven to the brink" but all is OK now.

 

Person claiming to be our birth daughter will only communicate by computer or mail, but only with birth dad.

Birth dad has seen her, several times at "her events" but no physical or audible contact. "She runs" or sends others to "check me out."  She is very manipulative.

 

Yes there has been gifts sent to her and her family, money also.That has stopped.

 

This is in Southern Ca.

 

Has anyone had a similar "contact" in California ?

 
March 14, 2008, 3:27 pm CDT

Thank you doggylopaw

Quote From: doggylopaw

 

  

When I first watched the show dealing with Milissas adoption fraud, I came away with an uneasy feeling, but tried to dismiss it.  When I saw the rerun, I had a defining moment.  I could have been Melissa.  I don't claim to be able to "see inside her head", but I can relate to some of the things she did, the fraud she perpetuated.  I hope that this post may help some of the people whose hearts she broke.

 

   I was an isolated child, an only child born of emotionally bankrupt  immature parents.  I had the material things I needed, never went hungry, but love was missing from my life's equation.  I would have done anything for kindhearted attention.  It wouldn't have occurred to me that I was hurting someone.  It was all about what I was feeling and  what I was desperate to feel.  I grabbed at any form of kind attention like a drowning man wound grab at a floatation device, mindless of  the fact that it might have been someone else's lifeline...or that it was falsely inflated.

 

   Luckily, the only person I ended up harming was myself.  First, sexual promiscuity, then, prostitution.  The money was secondary to the feeling that someone cared about me, if only for a few moments.  It was like a drug, with no logic or reason.  I 'HAD' to have it.

 

   I married an abusive man, partially because I didn't think I deserved better, partially because I was delighted that anyone would want me.  It didn't matter who.

 

   OK, I've gotten off track, and I'm sorry.  I'm OK today, healed, whole and happy with a good husband.  My point is, Melissa probably really DIDN't know why she did what she did.  She probably WAS sorry, not so much for the people that she hurt, but because that attention was over, and she 'looked' bad.

 

   To have so many people believing her was probably a power trip and an all consuming high.  She probably felt vital, loved, attended to and intregal in peoples lives.  People who have never experienced emotional isolation might never be able to understand how consuming the search for those feelings can be.

 

   To be clear, I don't condone her actions for one second.  What she did to her victims was unconscionable and I am so sorry for their heartbreak.  I'm offering this as a way of aiding their journey to closure through understanding.  I hope this helps someone.

Thank you for sharing your insight, it hurts, but truth often hurts.

 

My daughter, this kills a dad, she has displayed every characteristic  that you shared. I always "kind of" knew it, for the last six years anyway, never wanted to truly face it.

 

Under our particular circumstances and "who" our baby was going to, we thought we made the very best decision of true love for any child on earth, we were wrong.

 

We talked to her adoptive mom, she is old, so we just told her how we loved her, that's all.

She told us how afraid she was that we were going to try to take our baby back when we got older, became of legal age, that was never the case for us, we thought it would be cruel to the baby and her adoptive parents, but we had no way of knowing how to contact her to tell her that, so she raised our baby with

that fear, guess she let her "do as she pleased" for fear of "losing" her to us. I do know our daughter has been in a tremendous amount of trouble in relationships and sexuality, I fear she has done the same as you, but has continued ... seeking the power and acceptance "however brief" those moments are. 

 

                   Thanks for sharing.

 

 

                    From a little "bump" and heartbeat we loved, to this, we pray. 

 

 
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