Community Munchausen's by Internet (Malingerers, Munchies, Spoonies, etc) - Feigning Illnesses for Attention

Petronella

Petrodactyl
kiwifarms.net
(This thread has now been expanded to include all of Munchausen's by Internet scammers. You can read about the basics of this in this post.)

https://encyclopediadramatica.se/Beccah_Beushausen
http://getoffmyinternets.net/forums/mommy-bloggers/scam-blogger-rebeccah-beushausen-april-rose-hoax/

Back in 2009, Beccah Beushausen started a blog about her pregnancy with a severely handicapped child, and her decision not to have an abortion due to her Christian faith. Her blog attracted a huge following of fans who showered her with money and gifts in preparation of her baby's birth, and she even started selling her own shirts and other goodies for her supporters. Finally she delivered her daughter April Rose in a home birth, and blogged as the baby tragically died soon after birth.

The problem was that Beccah had never been pregnant. Her baby bump photos were faked, and the photos of her newborn baby were actually pictures of a ReBorn baby doll. Beccah finally admitted that the whole thing was made up and there really was no baby.

EDiots did some digging and discovered that Beccah had actually been a scam artist and pathological liar for years. They uncovered a huge laundry list of lies, many of which involved babies. For example, there were several occasions when Beccah claimed to be pregnant and offered to give the baby to a childless couple for money, only to disappear or suddenly "miscarry" once the cash came.

Beccah was relatively quiet for a while, but recently she was back yet again with a new sob story. Now married and going by the name Beccah Tabbert, she and her husband David have started a GoFundMe to raise money for medical expenses for their daughter, who allegedly has serious health problems. Whether this is legit or not remains to be seen.
 
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Artard

Feels dispenser
kiwifarms.net
Oh boy. I met Beccah about six months or so after the fallout of her Dead Baby Blues. She was a friend of my brother's wife. The two things I took away from this are:

1. She was obsessed with being pregnant, maybe more broadly with "pregnancy" in general. I think there's a psychiatric term for this but you really didn't need a degree to pick up on it. It was like meeting a crazy man that thinks they're Napoleon, her obsessions were so close to the surface.

2. It still amazes me that there exists this bubble which internet infamy (and even local news infamy, as she Beccah's hoax was pretty extensively covered here) can't penetrate. Neither my brother's wife nor anyone around her really had much of an idea of what was going on -- just some vague notion that she was kind of at the center of something-something with people saying something-something about her.
 
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Artard

Feels dispenser
kiwifarms.net
Lolcows are bizarre people/groups/events
Check.

that are on the Internet
Check.

and respond negatively to people in a funny way

Beccah proceed to tell more whoppers denying she received money & gifts from the blog, denying she has dozens of sock-puppets, and that she has been reading about & defending herself online 24/7 since her scam was exposed. She whined on and on about "past traumas" that are nothing more than older lies told to lots more gullible people. Even more hilarious for the first two days her apology was posted it was signed "April's Mom."
 

Dalish

jewess bitch
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Has she done anything recently? It seems strange that someone with such a long track record of scamming would stop, despite being caught. A lot of the munchausen by Internet cases get revealed, but the perpetrator nonetheless comes back for more and to address the 'haters'.
 
Reactions: Petronella

Artard

Feels dispenser
kiwifarms.net
Classic Munchausen by internet. People that get off on pretending to be sick or dying for attention and gifts. They're disgusting attention whores who take away from people who are actually terminal and they piss me the fuck off.

///ETA: There's a blog that's all about exposing fakes. It's not updated a lot but it's full of lulz. http://www.warriorelihoax.com/
Maybe this is the fodder for a larger thread about Munchausen By Internet? Coming across a classic MBI case or a compulsive liar/attention seeker with the potential to tear a community apart is kind of a rite of passage on the internet -- it's happened so often it's not even particularly noteworthy except in its scope.

The original "Warrior Eli" described on that site is a good example, as it went on for years. The saga of "Jesse Jubilee James" is another one -- one dumpy, lonely woman made up (and in many cases performed as) dozens of different characters in a multi-year hoax that went on long after her "main character" had succumbed to cancer.

I guess with how common it is, it's maybe less interesting to ask "why people do it" than "why people believe?" I've always thought that the anonymity of the internet encouraged skepticism -- people feeling less ashamed of asking hard questions of truly extraordinary medical circumstances?

But maybe it says something positive that people are willing to believe and be taken advantage of time and time again -- even when situations seem practically designed to invoke sympathy or garner attention.
 
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Durable Mike Malloy

Fine &/or dandy.
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I guess with how common it is, it's maybe less interesting to ask "why people do it" than "why people believe?" I've always thought that the anonymity of the internet encouraged skepticism -- people feeling less ashamed of asking hard questions of truly extraordinary medical circumstances?

But maybe it says something positive that people are willing to believe and be taken advantage of time and time again -- even when situations seem practically designed to invoke sympathy or garner attention.
You know, that's a very good point. For example, @For The Internet and I both participated in online communities that were fleeced by the same scammer under various guises. Interestingly, Chris Izer-Bedell appears to have targeted self-identified skeptics and critical thinkers. She'd gain community ingress under a persona that had the ring of truth, and then proceed to muddy the waters by playing off other members' lived experiences and strong emotions. By the time she started asking for money, those of us who suspected her of being a fraud were reluctant to speak up.

This woman took advantage of people's desire to remedy injustice and create a world that is kinder and more fair, leading ordinarily-circumspect individuals to behave in an extremely gullible way.

And when lots of people are willing to think, "Well, maybe this is all bullshit, but there's a tiny chance it's true and it costs me practically nothing to send $5/a little care package/whatever, so I guess I'll do it anyway," the overall community atmosphere of generosity and goodwill is very difficult to puncture.

After all, who really aspires to be this guy?
t3veWsE.gif

A competent scammer will see your Javert and raise you - say - Fantine. It's amazing how the same thing unfolds, over and over again.
 
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Ariel

Sorbet
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
You know, that's a very good point. For example, @For The Internet and I both participated in online communities that were fleeced by the same scammer under various guises. Interestingly, Chris Izer-Bedell appears to have targeted self-identified skeptics and critical thinkers. She'd gain community ingress under a persona that had the ring of truth, and then proceed to muddy the waters by playing off other members' lived experiences and strong emotions. By the time she started asking for money, those of us who suspected her of being a fraud were reluctant to speak up.

This woman took advantage of people's desire to remedy injustice and create a world that is kinder and more fair, leading ordinarily-circumspect individuals to behave in an extremely gullible way.

And when lots of people are willing to think, "Well, maybe this is all bullshit, but there's a tiny chance it's true and it costs me practically nothing to send $5/a little care package/whatever, so I guess I'll do it anyway," the overall community atmosphere of generosity and goodwill is very difficult to puncture.

After all, who really aspires to be this guy?
View attachment 14042
A competent scammer will see your Javert and raise you - say - Fantine. It's amazing how the same thing unfolds, over and over again.
That wasn't free jinger was it?



I think we need a general lolcow thread for this. Because there are other really interesting occurrences such as 'Valerie'
 
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