Dishonesty Is Expensive. Deception Unravels At An Alarming Pace…

Over the course of the past 3 days I’ve had one shocking surprise right after the other. It’s tough to surprise me. I’m worldly and wise or so I thought but people and their situations aren’t always black and white.

For days now I had unwittingly found myself in a tangled web that opened my eyes to just how far some people will go to make a buck. Playing on others sympathies. Toying with their emotions. Sociopathic parasites.

My twin sister is far more skeptical than I am. I’ve always been optimistic viewing my glass as half full rather than half empty. My sister is a realist.

Cindy was suspicious from the get go regarding a very unique situation that presented itself in the most unlikely way, a message on FB sent to me months ago that I discovered on Wednesday evening.

While I initially viewed this person reaching out to me as a “gift and answer to my clients prayers,” my twin sister saw red flags. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

On the one hand I had a former client who wanted nothing more than a baby. On the other hand I had a stranger that didn’t want to keep her baby. Or so she claimed. The truth may never be known.

Let’s go back to Wednesday evening when I had messaged back Lacey. A young lady who had told me that she was pregnant and couldn’t keep her baby. How did she find me? Why had she found me?

Lacey told me she was homeless and hungry and needed help from the get go.

I’m going to step out on a limb here and tell you that years ago, forty years in fact, Cindy and I were homeless and hungry. We were eating out of a trash can when the police took us to a shelter. We were happy to be safe. We were thrilled to be off the streets.

Was Lacey truly homeless? Looking back I doubt it. But, my heart was leading me right into a trap.

Homeless people generally are thankful for whatever kindness is offered them.

If you have ever been homeless, you’ve also been helpless.

Teenagers don’t choose homelessness. Cindy and I didn’t. But we had nowhere to go and found ourselves on the streets. At 15 years old, we also learned that working was the only way to keep the bills paid. Our first apartment was without electricity for two years. We could afford the rent we couldn’t afford electricity. We appreciate everything we have because we worked for it.

There are people who want everything but don’t want to work for it.

Drug addicts are what most people assume when they see a homeless person. In most cases they are accurate.

Drug addiction and mental illness are the primary reasons many people are homeless. Their families finally gave up on them.

Things aren’t always what they seem. Lacey certainly wasn’t. She had an answer for everything and “wanted help” from me. She found me on FB. My profile is public. Cindy’s is too. But Lacey didn’t contact Cindy on messenger. Instead she chose me.

How much time had Lacey spent going through my photos? My travels? My family? At the time she contacted me in November 2019, I was traveling. Traveling with Cindy, her twin grand daughters, Maryssa and Makenna as well as my niece and her daughter. I don’t travel “second class” with my family. I travel first class. I work hard and can afford the best. For forty years now the lesson I learned at 15 has stayed with me. What was the lesson? If you want nice things you must earn them.

To Lacey snooping through my life on FB, it would appear that I was wealthy. I am financially comfortable. I don’t have to work. I haven’t in ten to twelve years now. I’m not rich but I am well off. I have no debt and pay cash for new suvs every two years. My husband and I live comfortably and both work hard to continue putting money into retirement. Matthew left home at 15 too. My husband knows the importance of having a large nest egg. He’s far older than I am and wants to ensure that I never have to work should something happen to him.

Now that you know more about me and how I think, live and act, let’s get back to Lacey. Someone who “found me on FB.” She had a way of describing her hardships without explaining why she was in a situation of being homeless and pregnant. She reeled me into her web of deceit slowly over the course of messages. I never did speak to her. Each time I tried to call her she made excuses as to why she couldn’t talk to me. This should have been my first clue.

Alarmed that anyone would be homeless, hungry and pregnant, I immediately began researching shelters on Thursday and began trying to find help for this young lady.

I dropped everything I was doing and spent 6-7 hours trying to find help for Lacey. I made this homeless and hungry pregnant lady a priority in my life Thursday and yet by Friday, Lacey had decided she didn’t want to go to a shelter. Why? She had made contact with my client, Deanna. I wouldn’t offer Lacey money. Deanna would. Sadly, Deanna was feeding the shark.

The “type of help” I was attempting to find for Lacey wasn’t what she wanted.

I had initially asked Lacey for her location. She had told me she was in Union, South Carolina. Her FB profile shows Union as her hometown.

Because I had difficulty finding assistance in Union, I then began researching nearby towns.

There was a nearby town, Spartenburg. I then tried to find transportation for her from Union to Spartenburg.

Lacey had tons of reasons I couldn’t buy her a bus ticket to Spartenburg. She also said I couldn’t hire an Uber “due to the virus.”

While searching the internet for shelters, I also sent a text to Deanna stating “that someone had contacted me and was wanting to give up her baby.”

I then advised Deanna that I was trying to locate a shelter and transportation for Lacey on Thursday after getting her correct phone number late Wednesday evening. Lacey liked and preferred messenger. She didn’t want to give me her phone number but finally did Thursday. She would never answer that phone. Regardless of how many times I called it.

On Thursday afternoon, I sent Lacey Deanna’s contact information and vice versa. My former client, Deanna “wanted to help.”

Deanna sent Lacey a friend request. I did as well. Lacey had an opportunity to view our families, our homes and our lives. I warily viewed hers.

Misspelled words and risque posts aside, I quickly recognized that Lacey lacked any degree of proper education from her FB messages and posts.

I’m often amazed at the things people post on FB. The things they say. But, Lacey was sizing up Deanna and I.

Cindy and her “catfish” references about this situation would prove true.

I had insisted to my sister that “this poor girl is homeless and hungry.”

Cindy insisted to me “homeless people know they have to contact the shelter. Homeless people are almost always homeless for a reason. What’s hers?”

I’m guessing it was addiction. Deanna asked if she had used drugs. Lacey admitted she did. Deanna and I were both taken back by Lacey’s candor. We were both confused by correspondence that was difficult to decipher from not only Lacey but also her friend and God mother. All three of them had the worst grammar and spelling that I have ever encountered. Had Lacey attended school at all? I may never know.

Cindy sat back and watched the drama unfold as I sent her screen shots and updates from Deanna to me to Cindy.

While I was researching finding a safe place for hours and attempting to get transportation, Lacey was already “hitting Deanna up for gas money to get to her God mothers.”

Deanna agreed to send $60 for gas money to Lacey’s friend, Lisa to drive Lacey to her God mothers.

I wouldn’t know about this “transportation donation” from Deanna until Lacey was “settled in and the demands started rolling in.” But it didn’t take long.

Lacey had Deanna on the line. She had dropped me because I was trying to find a shelter and willing to buy a bus ticket but never offered to send her money.

Lacey thought she had hooked a big fish and I was bait she used to find the fish.

Lacey didn’t need me anymore. She was busy working Deanna over with sad luck stories. Addicts always have plenty of sad luck stories. Rarely if ever do they recognize and realize that they are responsible for their lives. It’s always someone else’s fault.

My animosity towards addicts is real. Lacey claiming she was trying to stay clean but unwilling to go to a shelter tipped me off.

Addicts never want to go to shelters. Why? They can’t use drugs there that’s why.

Lacey had stopped answering me and told Deanna that she “didn’t want to stay at a shelter.”

Homeless and don’t want to go to a shelter? You’ve got reasons. People always do.

After one day at her God mothers home, Lacey’s wish list of demands began to roll in to Deanna.

Poor me types of correspondence about how tough it was at her God mothers. How she wasn’t allowed to use the fan or go outside. But she didn’t want to go to a shelter. What did she want?

Lacey told Deanna that “she could get into housing for $350.” I questioned this. The waiting list for housing is years long.

If Lacey had been in housing why wasn’t she now? Was she hitting Deanna up for $350?

I’ve been a volunteer at women’s centers for over twenty years and can tell you that one of the primary reasons people can’t get housing assistance is a criminal history. We had no idea of Lacey’s criminal history, drug use or any verifiable facts about her. She said her mother was just released from prison and couldn’t help her. Where was her father? The baby’s father? Any family? Had she burned every bridge she ever had? Most addicts do.

What kind of a wish list did Lacey have after that “gas money?”

First a pregnancy pillow. Deanna bought it on Amazon and it will be delivered Thursday. Coincidentally Lacey’s birthday.

Then a message to Deanna from Lacey’s God mother mentions a laptop, school, a new phone and money? Yes.

Within a span of 3 days, someone (Lacey) who had contacted me had put her claws out to get past me to Deanna.

Lacey would later have two sidekicks join her in this “squeeze game” too.

It was a shell game with Lacey and the stakes continued to get higher by the hour for Deanna emotionally and financially. I’m angry about this. Angry about being pulled in by a con artist. Angry for not asking more questions.

Angry for involving Deanna because I fell for everything Lacey said. I felt sorry for her. Pitied her. She found an easy mark in me. But not so easy that I was going to send her money. Why? Because I know about feeding the sharks that’s why. I will help you but you have to be willing to help yourself. If you aren’t willing to help yourself, I can’t help you. No one else can either.

I’m frequently contacted for help or information from across the globe. The people contacting me are thankful for my insight and assistance. Lacey wasn’t. She didn’t want direction. She wanted dollars.

Luckily, Deanna and I were “swapping updates on the tangled web” of Lacey. Had we not been corresponding about this situation, I wouldn’t have known to tell Deanna to “put the brakes on.”

Lacey’s friend, Lisa had given Lacey a ride (supposedly) for the $60 Deanna that been had sent to drive Lacey to her God mother.

This “friend” will pop up later so stay tuned for a wild ride of lies, deception and financial gain.

With the God mother asking Deanna for money, a laptop and a new phone, Lacey was in a position (or so she thought) of coercing my friend and client, Deanna into giving her whatever she asked for.

Deanna who was mourning the loss of her daughter, DeLilah. The two year anniversary of losing the baby she wanted so badly being “reeled in” from someone who claimed she didn’t want to keep her baby. Lacey was a player. A con artist. Thoughtless and conniving. I saw the flags before Deanna. Cindy made sure I did.

My twin sister saw this entire scenario as fishy. Why would someone who didn’t want to keep their baby contact me? It was a valid question.

I decided to tell Deanna to “establish ground rules” because in 48 hours things got so out of hand with not only Lacey asking for things but also her friend, Lisa and God mother, Carol.

Lacey was playing Deanna like a fiddle but for all the help she wanted she wasn’t willing to give any real information. She was evasive.

Lacey saw an opportunity to take advantage of a kind heart and literally ran with it until Deanna finally told Lacey that she wanted medical records and a contract. Then things exploded.

Drawing a line in the sand was my idea not Deanna’s. Why? The message from Lacey’s “supposed God mother” complaining about the electricity for Lacey running a fan was my first clue. I checked the weather in God mothers city. Sixty five degrees. Did anyone need a fan at sixty five degrees. Why would running a fan bring up finances from Deanna? Lacey, Lisa and this God mother saw a cash cow. They began messaging Deanna as a team. So and so wants this. So and so wanted that. So and so wanted to know what Deanna was going to do for them. This scenario enraged me.

I knew Deanna was being used and abused by this three posse con clan. I didn’t want them to further abuse her trust either. Cindy was right. We didn’t know she was pregnant. We didn’t know if she was honest about wanting to give up her baby. We didn’t know enough about Lacey to be sending her money. We only knew what Lacey decided to tell us. It was all poor me from Lacey then Lisa then the money grubbing God mother.

I knew that Deanna was mourning the death of DeLilah two years ago. I know exactly the moment DeLilah was born and we lost her. I will never forget it. Deanna was in a fragile place. Deanna was also being barraged by messages from three people I now view as sociopaths. They were working together to hit up Deanna and playing her emotions to do so.

Lacey claimed she was pregnant with a girl. This was the hook. Lacey claimed she didn’t want the baby. This was the line. Lacey wanted money. This was the sinker.

A history of drug abuse was alarming. Deanna and I were both concerned about this. Was she using now? While pregnant? Addicts have no boundaries. Lacey “didn’t want to start using again but she was in a bad place.”

Hmm, Lacey wouldn’t go to the good places I had found in Spartenburg. Lacey wouldn’t stay at a shelter or seek medical attention. Lacey didn’t want MY help. Lacey wanted money. Con artists always do. Lacey wanted Deanna’s help because Deanna had offered gas money off the bat. I was willing to buy a bus ticket. I was unwilling to send money to a stranger.

I hate addiction. I have my reasons. My mother was a drug addict. Addicts make shitty parents. It’s in the child’s best interests that addicts give their children up to someone who can properly care for them.

Was Lacey contacting me because she wanted to make the right choice for her unborn child? How did she find me? What did Lacey REALLY want?

The “I haven’t been to the doctor” bothered me. If you are pregnant you should have medical records. Anyone pregnant and poverty stricken in the United States can obtain Medicaid.

Lacey said she had Medicaid but hadn’t been to a doctor? She’s due in July and hasn’t seen an OB? How did she know she was pregnant with a girl? This was highly odd and suspicious.

Lacey had told me she had given up another child for adoption. In December. A little boy. Two other children weren’t with her. Where were they? She wouldn’t say. The more I learned about her the more concerned I became. Lacey had stated that someone else was going to adopt her baby but the deal fell through. Why? Drug use? Was she being paid by another family that wanted a child enough to pay for it? She wouldn’t give details. I wish I could have found that other couple and interviewed them myself.

For the record, Lacey had reached out to me in November 2019 through FB messenger but I missed her message because she wasn’t on my friends list. I found the message a few days ago. I immediately responded and gave her my phone number on messenger as well as my email address.

Waiting for her to contact me I had wondered if she might have changed her mind since November?

A day after messaging my contact information, Lacey sent a message that she couldn’t reach me.

I’ve had the same phone number for nearly seventeen years and asked for her phone number. The first phone number she gave me was the wrong number. This bothered me. The wrong number was polite but probably alarmed by my questions. What were they? “Are you still pregnant? Why do you want to give up your baby?” Umm not the type of wrong number calls most people are accustomed to. I then messaged her again and told her she had given me the wrong number. This time she gave me the correct number.

I then spent an entire day sending her numbers to help her get into a shelter.

For everyone unaware of this, you can’t call a shelter for someone. They must call on their own behalf. Because of this, I sent contact information via FB messenger to Lacey and asked her to call the numbers I had spent so much time locating for her.

Lacey never did contact ANY of the numbers I had spent so much time finding for her. Why? Because she was busy messaging Deanna who was already ordering her a pregnancy pillow on Amazon and asking what else she needed.

Lacey had Deanna in her court within a matter of hours. Lacey had stopped responding to my messages. Why? I wouldn’t offer to send money.

My twin sister jumped in this circus of chaos after listening to my update on the situation and asked “how do you even know she’s pregnant? You don’t know anything about her and she reached out to you? You need to get verification that she’s healthy and actually pregnant.”

Cindy had a point here. I told Deanna to ask for a photo of Lacey’s stomach. For some reason, Lacey didn’t want to send a photo of her belly. She did send a photo of herself (or what she thought would satisfy Deanna) but half her face was cut off in the photo and the clothing around her stomach appeared to be someone far more pregnant than 6 months.

Cindy also noticed that Lacey or whoever was in the photo she sent to Deanna through messenger had a $60 nail job. During a pandemic? While being homeless and hungry? With everyone else in the United States unable to find a nail or hair salon open? Hmm.

Deanna asked Lacey to send a photo of her stomach again. Lacey was unwilling. I told Cindy about this.

Cindy again questioned whether Lacey was actually pregnant. I even talked to another client about this situation that continued to grow stranger by the day.

Was Deanna the ONLY person sending money to Lacey? Were there others? Was she really pregnant? What was going on? Why was Lacey and her God mother convinced that Deanna would just send money without having documentation a pregnancy actually existed? Or that if there was a pregnancy the baby was healthy. Or being willing to sign paperwork.

At 6:47 tonight, Lacey sent me her last message that read “I’m sorry but I’m not signing a contract.” She then unfriended me.

What had happened to shift Lacey? First, her friend, Lisa had been hitting Deanna up “for money Lacey owed her boyfriend. It’s Easter and we have kids and I need you to send me that money today.”

Let’s go back to Deanna sending $60 to Lisa. Plenty for gas and food. But after only knowing Lacey for three days virtually, Deanna had Lisa and Carol as well as Lacey hitting her up for money. Lacey wasn’t willing to go to the doctor. Lacey wasn’t willing to entertain signing a contract either. Lacey had reached out to me.

Lacey’s friend, Lisa and her God mother, Carol were pressuring Deanna to send more money. Do this. Do that. Do it now. Money that Lisa claimed Lacey owed her? This convoluted circus got crazier as the hours wore on today.

I advised Deanna to ignore Lisa and Carol. The messages wore on. Carol complaining that “Lacey was getting food stamps but I need money for electricity. Lacey needs a laptop. Wifi. Lacey needs a new phone. School. What ya all gonna be sending to help.” I found this message shocking. Demanding. Entitled.

The grammar of Lacey, Carol and Lisa was so bad in these messenger messages that it was often difficult for me to comprehend what exactly was being said. Lacey was using a fan that would dramatically increase the electric bill? Lacey needed a laptop? A new phone? “And not a cheap one.” Wifi? School? How much money would Deanna be sending? Omg.

Again, Deanna sent me screenshots today from Lisa demanding money she claimed Lacey owed to her. Gas is cheap right now. Lisa had said she needed gas money to pick up Lacey in Union and drive her to her God mothers in Greenville. The distance between both cities was 58 miles. $60 was more than enough. Generous in fact. Deanna sent more to provide additional money for food. No good deed goes unpunished.

“Look twice at a person who is two faced. The image you see in front of you will change behind your back.” Cindy Daniel

So on an Easter Sunday with mostly everyone in the world virtually celebrating with their families, Lisa was sending demands for $35 to Deanna for money she claimed Lacey owed to her.

By her own admission, Lisa had $10 left over from the $60 she had been sent to go pick up Lacey. Or was Lacey actually in Union? Let’s think about that.

How do we know that Lacey was stranded in Union. Where did she get her nails done? Homeless and hungry with an elaborate manicure of acrylic nails with glitter? Hmm.

After Deanna ignored the message from Lisa and Carol demanding everything except a new car “for Lacey” while addressing her own needs because Lacey was in her house running a fan, Lisa sent another message that she was going to tell Lacey that Deanna wasn’t going to help her. Deanna wasn’t because she had messages coming at her from three people with consistent demands.

Deanna had two criteria to be met. 1. Medical records and 2. Adoption paperwork. Realistic and upfront, Deanna had asked for the same things anyone being enlisted to help a pregnant person would ask for. By establishing boundaries though, things blew up between Lacey, Lisa and Carol. Their scheme to squeeze Deanna was coming to a head. It would come quickly after all the song and dance of crying poor mouth for 48 hours from South Carolina.

Deanna had been taken advantage of. I’m glad it’s over.

Here’s what I’m not glad about. I’m not glad about being a patsy. I’m not glad about being used to use someone I care about.

Lacey, Lisa and Carol are con artists. They use people to get what they want. They are are parasites.

Deanna was sent a message at 3PM today by Lacey about “dropping this process.” What process? The process of swindling money from someone who was kind enough to care and trying to help. A “confidence game?”

On Easter Sunday, I was researching Catfish Adoption Scams. If you’ve never heard of this, I hadn’t either.

I was told by Lacey in her first message that she was pregnant and didn’t want to keep her baby. Through messages between Deanna and Lacey, the fact that Lacey was an addict was in fact disclosed point blank by Lacey.

Lacey also lied to Deanna about her age saying she was 25 when FB has her 30th birthday (according to FB) this Thursday. Ironically, the same day the pregnancy pillow she asked Deanna for will arrive.

I hope Lacey finds comfort in a gift selflessly given by someone who cared about her. Someone who tried to help her.

Deanna celebrated her daughter, Delilah’s birthday during this window. The child she did desperately wanted and lost. Lacey knew this. Lacey had accepted a friend request from Deanna as well as me. Tonight, both Deanna and I were unfriended.

Did we ask too many questions? Did we fail to give in to the many demands? Is Lacey really pregnant or playing other people like she played Deanna and I? Who knows but I know this, Deanna could have been spared heartache and drama had I never seen that message.

FB is for friends and for a small margin of people, a way to get into your life and into your pocketbook. I wish I had never seen Lacey’s message.

I also wish I could undo the past 5 days. We can hope that if Lacey is actually pregnant that she isn’t using.

No one would love and adore a baby more than Deanna but after the past several days of Lacey and her dust storm of drama, I will be far more cautious when someone contacts me with something Cindy finds suspicious that I view as good fortune. There is no pot of gold in this story…