July 10th, 2006


on internet fraud and fake babies - a cautionary tale

I was recently the victim of an elaborate hoax. Some of you have read some of this already, but this is the full story.

The story:
A couple of months ago, I started going to a couple of new Sims 2 irc channels, where I met a woman who went by the net handle of Jorenne or Jojo. A few days after I joined the channel, Jorenne said that she was pregnant and showed us some blurry ultrasound pictures. She was very excited about the pregnancy - to the point I asked if this would be her first baby. She said this was her third pregnancy, but neither of the previous babies were still alive. She told us about her husband C, in the Army, and her ex-husband B, and his strange demands.

On Sunday or Monday of this week, Jo told us that C had been posted overseas to Kosovo. She was really worried how she'd cope with him away whilst pregnant. Then on Thursday night, she apparently went into premature labour and was rushed to the hospital. Her sister Julie logged on to the server to tell us what was going on, and F, a trainee midwife, told us what might happen. Everyone was quite scared and upset. On Friday morning, the baby Casey was born - at 26 weeks gestation, and a mass of 880g. He was in the neonatal intensive care unit, possibly unlikely to make it, and Jo herself would need to be kept in hospital until Monday or Tuesday.

The truth:
There was no pregnancy and no baby. There are almost certainly no two pre-existing lost children. We don't know if there's a husband or an ex-husband, or even the age of the woman concerned. We're pretty sure she is female and does live, or has lived in, Aldershot in Hampshire. And we know she plays Sims 2.

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I've left this as a public entry with comments enabled because it is a cautionary tale. Yes, you may link to it. Yes, you may comment on it. But if I get abusive comment spam, I'll turn it off.
pokemon scientist

tricycle photos!

You know, after all the "fun" and "excitement" of Friday - I totally forgot that I'd posted pictures of my tricycles online!

Pashley Picador Pashley Picador

This is my old trike - a Pashley Picador, probably about 25 years old. Still in good working order though the seat's not very comfortable.
Di Blasi folding tricycle Di Blasi folding tricycle

This is my new trike - a Di Blasi R32. Unfolded and ready to ride. dino is there as a size reference point.

The rest of the gallery is here. I'm sure all the engineering geeks will love the pictures of the folding mechanism - which does work just like a music stand!