Western Australia’s consumer watchdog is urging more women to come forward after claims an operator in the state’s south-west has handed out fake ultrasound photos of unborn babies.
Consumer Protection is investigating a number of complaints from women in Bunbury who claim the fetal ultrasound pictures they were given were generic photos found online.
Operating out of a private residence in Bunbury, it appears the same images are being given to multiple women under the guise of their own baby’s ultrasounds.
Revelations that dozens of women in the town had been duped emerged as they flocked to social media to complain.
One of the victims, Stace Hart, said the ultrasound business was run from home by a woman who seemed very professional and had glowing testimonials on her website.
“That’s why I decided to go with it,” Ms Hart told AAP. “It’s very shocking.”
Ms Hart paid $167 in cash for seven photos and a DVD of what she believed were of her unborn daughter Sophia.
But most of the images don’t look like her newborn – and she saw on a Facebook page created by scammed local mums a photo of a baby that was “the spitting image of my Sophia”.
“When I first got them, one of the photos looks identical to my baby. The other ones, not so much. But I didn’t think much of it.
“Then I saw this thing on Facebook and I felt for people that it’s affected and thought `I really hope mine aren’t like that'”.
“And then I saw one that was exactly identical to Sophia and thought `hang on a second, that’s my baby’. It was very disconcerting.”
Ms Hart said she was heartbroken that she had been robbed of the opportunity to obtain images of her second child in utero as she hadn’t got any of her first.
“I’m not going to get the opportunity back,” she said.
Consumer Protection spokesman Alan Hynd said the department was making inquiries about the alleged scam and was speaking with the trader.
He urged anyone who believes they have been duped by the business – which appears on its website to be heavily booked for the rest of the year – to contact the department’s Bunbury office.