UPDATE: More than 100 people have joined a ‘victim’s only group’ for people that believe they have been given false ultrasounds photographs of their unborn children.
Yesterday a ‘baby photo scam’ Facebook page was created which has attracted more than 1200 members overnight.
The issue was first brought to light when a Bunbury woman posted her concerns on the Bunbury Crime Stoppers Facebook page on Wednesday, January 29.
Consumer Protection spokesman Alan Hynd said the department had received several complaints over the two days.
But he warned consumers to be careful of their online posts on the matter.
“We recommend consumers come to us through more formal channels instead of venting online,” he said.
He warned unjustified comments could lead to legal ramifications for the person posting a complaint.
EARLIER: Mothers across Greater Bunbury are horrified that cherished ultrasound photos of their unborn children could be fakes after a social media post triggered widespread alarm.
Bunbury mother-of-one Catherine Osment paid for an ultrasound DVD and photographs of her unborn baby earlier this month.
She attended a private 4D ultrasound home business in Eaton on January 17.
When she received her photographs, she said it was “clearly obvious” all eight images were of different babies.
“I knew as soon as I opened them they were fake and it made me feel sick,” Mrs Osment said.
She told the Bunbury Mail she searched on the internet and found the same photographs in Google Images.
Mrs Osment said she took the photographs to Big W’s photo centre and was told some were printed before October last year, months before she had her scan.
Her partner had been planning to have the baby’s image tattooed on his chest in March but cancelled the appointment when he realised it could be fake.
A second mother, Jacinta Langford of Dalyellup, also believed an ultrasound photo of her twins was taken from Google Images.
“I’m angry and upset because I have the photo in a frame and have shared with my friends on Facebook,” she said.
“Now I don’t know if they are mine.”
But the business owner, who could not be named for legal reasons, said she was considering legal action for what she says are defamatory claims.
She told the Bunbury Mail the online comments were untrue and her work was legitimate and professional.
“I have been trained with a sonographer, not everyone can do it – it’s technological stuff that the average person would not understand,” she said.
“I’ve had a lot of phone calls from previous customers of support.”
The issue was aired on the Bunbury Crime Stoppers Facebook page, raising alarm among hundreds of local mothers.
More than 400 comments have been posted in reply to the complaint after it was published on Wednesday, January 29.
Several mothers have compared photographs in the comments, which they believe are identical.
Stace Hart posted a photo of her scan she had nearly two years ago.
“I had this done around April 2012. And I have seen it on several posts. Soo upset,” she posted.
Consumer Protection spokesman Alan Hynd said the department had received several complaints about the business.
He said Consumer Protection was making inquires and anyone who was concerned should lodge a complaint at the Bunbury office on 9722 2888.