Identity theft on the internet... A woman using pictures of my son - for those who follow this link from elsewhere
If you've followed this link from elsewhere having heard about a woman stealing images of our son Liam, then please read the post below.
Dion (December 2009).
Every once in a while I notice a massive spike in the number of visitors to my blog. When I start checking the referring site I normally find the same thing - since December 2006 a woman has been using pictures of my son Liam on various websites (I believe she mostly seeks sympathy, but I have also been told that she uses the pictures to try and get money from people).
So, when I noticed a spike in visits to my web page this week I checked the refering link (this time you can see it here) and saw exactly the same thing. The investigation is still ongoing into the allaged perpetrator and some time ago it was suspected that another woman was attempting to frame someone. That case is also under investigation.
Regardless, Megan and I are grateful for the many persons who have asked about Liam. Here is a recent post from his 3rd birthday (16 November 2009). We praise and thank God that he is well!
If you're interested in the story about the woman who stole his pictures you can scroll to the bottom of this post and read about it there.
Just to say that Megan and I are long past getting upset about this sad situation. We pray for the person who is doing this, and we hope that she finds healing and peace before she gets into trouble or that she seeks help before she is caught. Also just to mention that the woman who is doing this often visits my blog (we have a trace on the range of IP addresses that she uses). When she does there will often be a string of comments. I delete them, so if you see deleted comments on this post in the next few days you'll know why
Post on Liam's Birthday 16 November 2009.
The 15th of November was one of the most difficult days of our lives as Megan went into labour for the third and final time, then just 27 weeks into her pregnancy. She had been in hospital for about two weeks since she first went into labour after falling ill in her 26th week of pregnancy.
On the that evening I had just arrived home with Courtney after visiting Megan in hospital when the phone rang and the doctor asked me to come back as quickly as I could. I took Courtney to our friend Madika's home and raced back to the hospital where Megan was already in the delivery room. An hour or so later little Liam entered the world at barely 1kg.
Naturally we were overjoyed at his birth, but we knew that we had a journey ahead of us. As Megan was wheeled into surgery after the birth I stood by as the doctor and nurses prepared Liam to go into the intensive care unit at Pretoria East hospital (the neonatal ICU). He was so tiny and fragile.
Well, you can follow some of the story here, and some other bits here.
We prayed through the day and night, and had many wonderful friends and family praying with us! Liam remained under the wonderful care of the ICU unit for almost three months. They were truly wonderful, not only caring for him medically and for us emotionally, but they even worked out a way to help us when our medical aid funds ran out two days before Christmas! The hospital and doctors negotiated a reduced rate so that we could keep him in the ICU. It was truly a magnificent Christmas gift!
Of course there were the many friends, like Wessel Bentley and his wonderful congregation who helped us to cover the almost quarter of a million rand shortfall that we had for his medical expenses. Between our friends, and an extension to our home loan we were able to cover the costs entirely and soon Liam was at home growing at a rate of knots!!!
There have been a few little moments inbetween, he has been in hospital a few times (as you'll see from the links above), and we still have to pay some attention to his physical and cognitive development.
But, these little hiccups are not even worth considering in comparison to the joy of his life!! He is growing up to be such an incredible little guy! He has a wonderful sense of humour, he roughs it with the best of them (climbing, running and jumping), and like his dad, he loves his bicycle!
We were cautioned to expect the worst, and we are thankful that we have only been blessed with the very best!
Today Liam turned 3 years old, and we give thanks to God for the gift of his life!
Courtney and Liam are the most precious gifts we have ever received! Please take a few moments to give thanks to God with us for Liam, and perhaps also to thank God for your children.
I would suggest that you keep your children as far as possible from her, and immediately alert your local police if you see her! She lives in the United Kingdom. We have naturally alerted the UK police (Cybercrimes and identity theft) who have an ongoing investigation into the matter, as well as interpol who have also opened an investigation. Naturally I cannot comment on the content of these investigations. It is, however, just a matter of time before she is apprehended. The link to the baby announcement below is no longer operative. The kind administrator removed all photos of Liam. However, if you wish to find more details on this woman (Samie Banks) you can follow link removed upon the request of the form since there is an investigation pending. Thanks!.
To see a collection of photos that she has 'stolen' from us and other parents you can follow this link (the password to log in is bailey).
The woman in question has tried to make contact with us using various aliases and different email addresses. In each case we simply forward all correspondence to the relevant authorities who assure us that she is being closely monitored.
Original post of December 2007 below:
This is truly bizarre! An unwell woman is using pictures of my son (and the details of my son and daughter) on various parenting websites! See the picture of her on the right, and compare that to two of the original pictures I posted back in November 2006 when I announced Liam's birth
This morning I received an email from the moderator of a website in Australia - the website has a forum for mothers to discuss birthing and parenting issues, and support one another. The moderator informed me that a woman from (who I believe is from England) had signed up to the forums announcing that she had given birth to a premature baby at 29 weeks...
She had posted numerous photos, various descriptions of her experience in giving birth to a premature son named 'Kabe', and had received a great deal of support and encouragement from members of the forum. However, the moderator of the forum noticed a few strange things in the posts and photographs and so decided to check it out...
When she investigated she discovered that this woman (see the picture above) was claiming to have had mine and Megan's children (Liam and Courtney), and one other child! She photoshopped her face over Megan's picture in the birth announcement!
Then, you'll see in the picture below (click on it to enlarge it) that she simply lifted, and reposted, two pictures of Liam, renaming him 'Kabe' (you can see our original pictures of Liam here and here).
I am not posting the link to the forums on which she posted the information about Liam etc. - she has been banned from there and various other forums. However, if you want to see the site that she set up with the birth announcement you can click here DON'T type in your email address (just to be safe)! Simply use the password kabe to gain access.
What does one do? I am at a bit of a loss... It is scary to think that someone has targeted one's children in this manner! Is there anyone out there who has any idea how we can trace who this is and put a stop to it? Off site email will be the best means to contact me (see the link on the right of this page).
Thanks for any help or advice!
Technorati tags: identity theft, scary, disturbed, mentally ill