Young mother Megan Ireland never imagined that her Facebook pictures would end up on a pregnancy fetish website, but she ended up being one of many victims of a large scam.
The Daily Mail reports that a fake Facebook user stole a photograph of the petite woman showing off her huge pregnant belly on Facebook. They then posted it on pregnancy pages with the caption, “He (sic) is my final bump shot before I gave birth... Anyone else care to post theirs?” The photo lured other moms-to-be to post their pictures, which the scammers posted on their fetish website.
Ireland, a 24-year-old mother of two from Sydney, Australia, said that it makes her “feel sick.”
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“That's my child in my stomach and people out there are doing really gross things,” she explained.
A small network using the names “Afina Petrescu” and “Afina Sabina Olar-Spanu” set up fake Facebook profiles, which they have been using to post fake baby bump photos on various group pages in order to lure others to do the same. They post the private pictures on exploitative “preggophilia” fetish websites.
“It's not the fact my photos are out there - it's what they're using me for,” Ireland told the Daily Mail. “That's what's really got under my skin, there's actually people out there doing that kind of thing.”
Ireland said that she had no idea that this happened to her until a friend recently shared a news report featuring a picture of her distinctive baby bump.
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“My stomach is clearly one that stands out from the crowd,” she joked.
Ali Mountifield, spokeswoman for the Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA) said that she has issued a high alert to try and keep scammers from exploiting pregnant mothers.
“This was a pretty scary moment for people and we've been warning members and social media users,” Mountifield said.
She cautioned users that Afina is looking for large baby bumps that they can market as a multiple pregnancy.
“I think it's just them knowing that it's a twin or triplet belly that might excite them just a little bit more,” she said.
Mountifield reported the known Afina Facebook profiles to authorities.