Nationwide, Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) attend approximately 10% of all births. In Pennsylvaina the percentage is slightly better, at about 11-12%.* How does the Lehigh Valley stack up against this? Continue Reading…
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Rossi and Jeana were not currently in the US, they were in China, but would be moving to the US soon. And the majority of the communication was via Rossi, rather than Jeana. But he provided an address for their new home, and asked for suggestions on care providers. Doula Dianne, always wanting to be helpful to an expectant couple (that is, after all, why she became a doula), suggested a hospital near to the couple’s new home, and a care provider.
After several e-mails back and forth, the couple decided to hire Doula Dianne, and settled on a price. Rossi told Doula Dianne that he would have his business manager send her a check, and soon she received a check, drawn on a foreign bank. This was not unexpected, since Rossi and Jeana were not in the country. What was unexpected was that the check was written for a figure that was significantly greater than the agreed upon fee. Rossi reassured Doula Dianne that his business manager had just made a mistake in writing the check, and since Jeana’s due date was coming soon, he asked that Doula Dianne just cash the check, and send him a refund.
Doula Dianne was a bit skeptical, but she took what she thought were prudent actions. She deposited the check in her bank account, and waited for it to clear before writing the refund check. After 3 days a teller at her bank assured her that the check had cleared, so she wrote the refund check and mailed it to an address in America, where the recipient promptly cashed it.
What the teller apparently did not know was the foreign checks often take up to 2 weeks to clear, and a bank will often “clear” the check as a courtesy to their customer after only 3 days. So while the money was appearing in Doula Dianne’s bank account, the check had not cleared yet. Much to her horror, Doula Dianne learned after her refund check had cleared that the check had actually not cleared, and the money was deducted from her account balance.
Doula Dianne has contacted her local law enforcement offices about this scam. In addition to the check that she already deposited, she was also sent a fake Western Union money order, so she has also contacted the post office about mail fraud. Unfortunately I know from experience with my husband’s business being scammed with a stolen credit card that the “business” usually has to take the loss, and law enforcement will not make significant effort to pursue what they see as a “small” crime of only a few hundred dollars. Unfortunately for Doula Dianne, that amount of money is a significant amount of her income since her family income has taken some hits in the economic downturn we’ve been through. To be sure, most doulas find doing their taxes a bit on the depressing side as they see their expenses eating away at their income, and realize that their work is truly a labor of love that does not leave them much profit.
Unfortunately it does seem like the individual (or group) who orchestrated this scam against Doula Dianne has also been contacting other doulas with the same scenarios. It has been discussed on the DONA Facebook page and the “All Doulas” discussion boards.
Doula Dianne would like to talk to other doulas who have been victims of this same scam. You can get her contact info by e-mailing me at email@example.com . While I hope on the one hand that not many of you have need to contact me, on the other hand I hope that enough of you have been scammed by this same individual (or group) that a law enforcement agency might take seriously the idea of pursuing this crime.