• Sat, Mar 22 - 1:00 pm ET

Woman Fakes Quintuplet Pregnancy Because The Internet Is Filled With Lies

fake quintuplet pregnancy nurseryA Canadian woman has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after it was discovered that her alleged quintuplet pregnancy was actually total bullshit. The woman has only been identified as Barbara, and according to news reports she originally told her boyfriend that she was pregnant with twins, then triplets and then quadruplets before finally settling on quintuplets. She also reportedly scammed people out of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts for the pretend babies. Because of course she did. 

Obviously, since this is the Internet age, Barbara at some point put up a Facebook page to document what was thought to be an unusual pregnancy and to look for free shit donations. Of course this  would have been totally reasonable if her pregnancy was legit, because babies are expensive as hell.

Fake quintuplet pregnancy

Barbara’s story began to unravel this week  when hospital blood tests showed that she hadn’t been pregnant with even one baby, let alone quintuplets..Her boyfriend, Paul, was reportedly heartbroken and has since broken up with her. According to the Facebook page:

“Hello everyone, I re-opened the site on behalf of Paul, the family and friends who have been involuntarily involved in this story. primary purpose is to trace the people who gave things. Paul deliver everything that was handed to him over all that Paul has purchased new will be given to organizations in the region. Also I want to point out that Paul’s knowledge has only received 3 $ 0 money and it came from the family. For those who wonder how Paul did not realize anything I ask you to do a google on (phantom pregnancy) Also I want to say that Barbara is also passed to a nurse and had access to test and echoes it could then Paul has shown. she even cheated at least one other man in 2010 with the same story. It swelled like a pregnant woman pictures will be published. This morning Paul went to the hospital believing finally see her 4 babies instead there was a team of doctors who waited and did a blood test and announced the news to Paul. It is completely torn, he not only loses someone he had fallen in love with but 4 babies was his joie de vivre. Barbara is currently under evaluation, Paul immediately left the hospital and cut all ties with her. I ask you to keep the respect in your comments positive and kept insult or non-compliance will be removed .. The site will be open for about 1-2 weeks to trace all who gave. Also if you have any questions we will try to respond the extent possible. We are currently overwhelmed and respond as soon as possible. Thank you to all”

The various reports that I’ve read aren’t entirely clear on whether or not Barbara was purposely trying to scam people, but faking a quintuplet pregnancy in order to get free diapers and baby clothes, (and of course cold, hard cash) seems a little extreme to me. Especially considering that it was bound to come out eventually. But the fact that she doctored previous tests to fool her boyfriend and allegedly tried this same stunt with another dude does seems a little fishy, so I think the jury is still out.

I think the lesson here should be…don’t believe everything you see on Facebook? I thought we were past that, but the dozens of individuals and business that donated to this woman with little more than her word that she was having ALL THE BABIES proves that we’re not.

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  • arrow2010

    Scumbags, but also the people who gave gifts over a Facebook post? Surely you’d want to see this scumbag in person to verify right? I mean who gives a gift because someone announced something via Facebook anyways? What kind of a flaming moron do you have to be?

  • keelhaulrose

    I’m sympathetic to phantom pregnancies. They’re psychological conditions. But quintuplets? I’ll be happily corrected if I’m wrong, but at some point lying came into it. How do you know you’re having five babies without seeing a doctor, and what doctor would see a phantom pregnancy and say not only is there a baby in there,, there’s five!
    She’s a bullshit artist, and I feel sorry for her victims, especially her former boyfriend.

    • pixie

      Yep! And considering she’s in Canada and all her ultrasound visits and what not are covered so it’s not like she couldn’t afford to go get ultrasounds.

    • Kresaera

      My mom had a phantom pregnancy many years ago and the doctors thought she was pregnant up until delivery. That was before ultrasounds though. It was very heartbreaking for her and my dad.

    • keelhaulrose

      I feel so sorry for people like your parents because phantom pregnancy is a thing, and people really do suffer from it, though with the advent of the ultrasound machine these have been caught earlier and people have gotten psychological help early instead of months later.
      But this woman went to great lengths to deceive her boyfriend and never went to an actual doctors appointment. That doesn’t sound like a phantom pregnancy, it sounds like a scam.

  • Jessifer

    I’m French-Canadian so I can actually read some of the comments on the FB page.

    The person writing on the site said that she really doesn’t understand how the pregnancy could have been fake because she herself, mother of 3 children, actually touched the belly 3 weeks prior and could feel movement.

    Someone was asking about how she could have walked around the hospital stealing ultrasound results, and the site’s response was that she seemed to have used someone else’s ID to get the info. She claimed she was a nurse who worked there and would walk around acting like she belonged there. Every time there was an appointment, she’d have an excuse for why he couldn’t be present (i.e. appointment postponed, machine broken, etc…) Or sometimes by the time he’d parked the car she’d claimed to have already had the test and seen the doctor and would have the results in her hands. She would even come home from her appointments with prescriptions in her name. It looks like she went through a whole lot of work to elaborate her story. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is charged with fraud, and the hospital perhaps even investigated for glaring breeches in their security.

    Also interestingly, she and her boyfriend met online and had only known each other in person for a month when she claimed to have gotten pregnant. It’s very likely he did not know her long or well enough to see all the holes in her stories or know all that crazy stuff from her past.

    • pixie

      That’s slightly frightening that she was able to go to those lengths.

      Maybe the movement was a muscle twitching or gas moving around (I’m sure the feeling is different, but maybe since it was thought she was pregnant, it was thought to feel like baby movement?)

    • Jessifer

      It’s sad because these Quebec communities are usually very close-knit, generous, and trusting of one another. When a family is in trouble, everyone naturally comes together and provides whatever support they can and it is considered totally normal. I can definitely see why complete strangers would have given donations – that is just how they are. I guess they are simply not jaded enough to believe that someone could lie about this sort of thing.

    • pixie

      That is sad. Talk about taking advantage of others. While I hope it doesn’t prevent these communities from being as tight knit in the future, I hope that a bit of precaution is taken so something like this doesn’t happen again.

    • Véronique Houde

      Lol where did u meet all these nice french canadians???? Lol I kid we’re cool and all but probably not nicer than ur average canadian ;)

    • Jessifer

      Well as I mentioned, I’m French Canadian myself so I’m probably completely biased. lol

    • Véronique Houde

      And a lot of te cmments on that page are really insulting lol

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      Thank you for your insight. I used Google translate to try to read more of the page, but a lot of the comments came out garbled. For some reason the actual posts on the page were totally legible, so maybe I was doing something wrong.

    • pixie

      They might be using colloquialisms which never translate well.

    • Véronique Houde

      You couldn’t read them because a lot of them have a lot of frencb canadian slang in them… us frenchies dont all know how to spell tbh ;). The woman administrating the page did indicate that they dont really understand where she got the sonograms yet but most people are convinced that she knew that she wasnt really pregnant. Yet the newspaper reports that her waters would have broken in front of them which is really weird. Maybe she peed herself?

  • Natasha B

    This, right here, is why I’m one of those cold hearted beaches who never donates anything online. Cancer fundraiser, kid crap, multiple pregnancies….nope nope nope.

  • Katherine Handcock

    I read about this yesterday, and I all I could think was how heartbreaking this must be for her boyfriend – whether she’s mentally ill or just a scammer, he seems like he was genuinely thrilled to be a dad, even of multiples. And no matter how many times he says he didn’t know it was a false pregnancy (and it’s quite possible that he didn’t – it’s amazing how many phantom or false pregnancies fool whole communities), people will always be suspicious.

  • Eri

    People are unbelievable. I feel awful for the boyfriend.

    On the flip side, I wonder how this woman got away with her bogus story for so long. I mean, the message suggests a “phantom pregnancy,” but wouldn’t there be suspicion regarding doctor or midwife visits, ultrasound photos, etc? That would raise red flags all around for me. Out of all I’ve read on this, it just seems like it was a huge lie for attention and gifts, rather than a true phantom pregnancy.

    • CMP414

      I feel terrible for her boyfriend too. He must feel so betrayed and totally embarrassed even though it’s not his fault. Thank God he didn’t marry her during this “pregnancy” Hopefully, he can just walk away from her and this situation and not have to look back.

    • Katherine Handcock

      Usually the male partners involved in a phantom pregnancy are fooled with fake appointments. I mean, if your spouse/significant other told you he/she had a doctor’s appointment at noon, and you came back from work and they said, “The doctor says everything is fine, but I should watch my blood pressure,” what cause would you have to doubt that? Some women with phantom/fake pregnancies will go as far as stealing ultrasound images to present to the “fathers,” although I imagine that would be hard if you’re claiming a quintuplet pregnancy.

      Scarily, some women going through a true phantom pregnancy (i.e. a mental illness out of a desperate desire to have a child) will steal infants to complete the picture. That’s why so many hospitals have fairly complex checkout procedures for new moms and babies. Heck, we almost had a delayed release with our son when the nurse discovered that one of his bracelets could just slip on and off his arm! Fortunately, he also had one on his ankle, which matched mine. If not, they probably would have had a procedure they were required to follow before we would have been allowed to leave.

    • Guest

      Yeah they have really amped up security. My mom used to work as a labor and delivery nurse, then moved to a different job in the hospital. When I was little my favorite thing was for her to take me to look at the babies (& say hi to the old coworkers). Now you have to check in, sign in, put on a name tag, and they literally have to push a button for the door to open so you can get onto the floor. It makes sense though- you do what you gotta do to protect these families from some really effed up people.

  • SusannahJoy

    I’m trying not to judge until we know more. Did she actually fake the pregnancy, or did she have a phantom pregnancy? I know people are pointing out that she did lie and get fake test results, but the amount of delusion required to convince your body that you’re pregnant is intense, and the mind can easily rationalize things like tests. I mean, come on, when a person has a phantom pregnancy they often stop getting periods, they’re boobs and belly swell, they get nauseous and tired all the time, test results? Those are easy to unconsciously manipulate. Either way, how tragic for the guy.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I agree with you. I tried to reserve any extreme judginess until the situation is sussed out more. I’m just baffled by how often this type of thing happens (scams on social media, not phantom or faked pregnancies). It’s wonderful that there are so many generous people, but I think it’s important to have a healthy sense of skepticism about everything.

    • Jessifer

      I’ve heard of stories of women faking pregnancies who intentionally swallowed air in order to distend their bellies and make them look pregnant. If she genuinely thought she was pregnant, then why the need to access people’s medical files to produce fake test results to show her boyfriend? Someone on a different social media site said she knew her from years ago because dated her neighbour. Apparently she bilked a guy out of several thousand dollars by writing forged cheques and stuff of that nature, so there is a history there of deception and pathological lying.

    • SusannahJoy

      The thing is though, if your delusion says you’re pregnant, your reality (like the test) says you’re not, it’s easier to change the reality (fake the test) than it is to change your delusion. Obviously that doesn’t make sense rationally, but we’re not talking about people who are capable of being rational. Like I said, I don’t know what is actually happening here, but if it is that she really was delusional with a phantom pregnancy, than lying and faking tests is all part of it, that’s what makes it so difficult to accurately diagnose.

  • Person

    As a very young adult, I was dating someone who was terrible. I was late for my period, went to the doctor and got a message to call back for results. Unable to reach their office, we assumed I was pregnant and he stopped hitting me.Turns out I wasn’t, but I was was young and terrified. So… I kept up the lie.
    I didn’t take gifts from anyone, citing Jewish superstition. I didn’t steal other people’s test results. Not one person, even my boyfriend’s mother who worked as a delivery room nurse, suspected anything. I knew it wasn’t real but I so desperately wanted that child, wanted safety that it BECAME real. I looked pregnant, suddenly had breasts and a belly. I had morning sickness and intense heartburn. Everytime someone would touch my tummy and say “OMG I felt it move!” a little part of me would die. I was completely aware every time that I lied, but after you say something enough, even you believe it, no matter if your logic says no.
    While this woman took it much farther than I, it is such an incredibly complicated experience that I really feel for everyone involved. It has been nearly ten years and I still deal with feelings of extreme guilt, self loathing and a genuine sense of loss for my phantom child. I hope she is able to get help.

    • Katherine Handcock

      Wow, that is a very powerful story. I hope you are also getting the help you need to handle the feelings you’re dealing with.

    • Person

      Thank you. I have come a long way. I have made peace with my experience but I don’t have complete closure.
      Since marrying an amazing man, I have had multiple miscarriages. I worry everyday that I fucked up my karma so bad, that I will never ever have the baby I dream about every night. He, and my mother, are the only people who know the truth. I can’t convince myself that my closest friends will not resent me if I came clean.
      So after I have that baby, and I decide everyone else can go suck it, I think I will finally be able to close that door.

    • Katherine Handcock

      I know it’s hard, but please know that the miscarriages really are unrelated to what happened earlier. I’m sure you get tons of (unsolicited) medical advice, but from a family member’s experience, I’ll just ask – have you had your thyroid checked? Apparently thyroid issues can be a major overlooked cause of miscarriage — the family member I’m speaking of also had multiple miscarriages.
      Also, I will tell you the same thing I tell anyone who’s having trouble conceiving: I sincerely hope you end up with the pregnancy you’re dreaming of, but whether you become a mom through birth or adoption, it will be wonderful. Hang in there!

    • Person

      Thank you very much for your kind words. I have had testing and I have a defective gene that makes my body not process folic acid efficiently. This makes it more difficult, bu I WILL have a child, one way or another. It is so lovely to have support from people like you who believe I will to.
      I hope that your family member has healthy babies galore!

    • Katherine Handcock

      You are very welcome! I am glad you are staying positive about it. And yes, you WILL have a child, and you will be a great mom!

      The family member in question has two children, but it always makes me sad to think of how much less misery she would have had if her thyroid condition had been diagnosed earlier – she had multiple miscarriages, including one far enough into the pregnancy that it was technically considered a stillbirth. That’s why, whenever I hear someone speaking about having multiple miscarriages, I ask them about the possibility if I can – I’d hate for anyone else to go through what she experienced.

      Oh, and don’t feel badly about grieving for an “imaginary” child. Grief is as much about dreams as it is about reality, which is why you can grieve for things that didn’t happen or people you never met — or, in this case, a child that wasn’t “real.”

    • Frannie

      It sounds like you did what you needed to do to survive. I hope someday you can move past the guilt, because as I see it you have very little to feel guilty for- you were a young woman stuck in a horrible situation who clearly saw lying as an escape from violence.

    • Person

      Thank you so much. It is soothing to hear those words from another human. There is also a lot of guilt associated with having true feelings of loss for an imaginary child. Who am I to feel that way when there are too many mothers who have experienced that real agony?
      The guilt has exponentially lessened with time and acceptance. This is just the tip of the iceberg on my sob life story so with that many experiences, holding on to destructive feelings would have eaten me alive long ago. Self forgiveness is my most difficult battle, but it enables me to make the choice of happiness.

    • itpainsme2say

      What happen when he found out? Did you get away in time or were there bad consequences for you?

    • Person

      I waited until he was in jail, which was inevitable. The details of the end are the worst.. but to this day he believes I was really pregnant. That didn’t stop him from breaking into my house months later and assaulting me while I was asleep, because losing the baby had to have been my fault. I pressed charges, moved, sold my car, got a new phone, quit my job, and started a new life.
      When he isn’t in prison he still stalks me. One thing is for sure: I am not afraid of him anymore. He is the one who should be scared. I am not that defenseless girl anymore. His abuse sparked a fire in me… I am a powerful woman, who fears no man.

    • itpainsme2say

      Let him hear you roar, you go girl. I am glad you rose above the hardship and took steps to strengthen yourself. May fortune smile upon you.

    • Person

      Thank you for the support, it feels amazing. May your cup run over with joy and laughter.

    • BW2

      Eve, this sounds like a good Anonymous Mom story.

  • Ann

    Maybe I’m an asshole, and I will except that, but am I the only one looking at her pictures and saying wow? I mean I know I gain weight real fast but she really looks like she’s hugely pregnant. Unless she has access to a prop room on a movie/tv set, she must have had a phantom pregnancy. That being said I hope she gets the mental help she obviously needs. I feel bad for the boyfriend, and I am glad that the family is trying to right the wrong by tracking down the donors.

    • itpainsme2say

      Phantom pregnancy is a condition where a woman believes so hard that she is pregnant that her brain sends out signals to the body that imitate symptoms of a pregnancy. Its pretty interesting the belly and breasts swell, periods stop, and I think you get false labor as well. There was a crime show that had an episode were a girl fell in love with her father and had hallucinations that they had sex then she convinced herself she was pregnant. The crime people didn’t even figure it out until the father demanded a paternity test.

    • Ann

      I know that’s why I said she must have had a phantom pregnancy because the pictures are very convincing that she was pregnant. I’m in awe of what the brain can convince the body of! I just wish the people in the story well in with the help they ALL so obviously need.

    • itpainsme2say

      Oh sorry I thought you missed the meaning of phantom pregnancy and just thought she was fat or something. Also therapy for everybody for sure.

  • CMP414

    I actually knew someone who faked an entire pregnancy only to have it end with the baby’s “death”. I did feel very sorry for her. She was a kind person who I later learned was going through a rough time. I joked with her when she supposedly 8 months pregnant that her stomach barely looked bigger than mine ( I was a size 4 at the time) What is odd about this lady is in the second picture, she totally looks like she has what I call “pregnancy face”. I know you can fake the baby bump but that is uncanny to me.

    • itpainsme2say

      I knew a girl who use to do this throughout high school in my grade and another in the grade below me that said she had already had the kid and was going to move in with the fake boyfriend in texas but she said she was prego again and she swelled for real but there was never a baby.

  • HoolieB

    I worked with a woman many years ago whose son and daughter-in-law faked a pregnancy to scam her out of money. She believed the daughter in law was pregnant with triplets. She lit up every time any of us asked her about her soon to be grandbabies. After the daughter-in-law allegedly delivered the babies, he and his wife killed his mom. The even more disgusting thing is that she would have done literally ANYTHING for her son. She was working a second job just so she had extra money for him. They’re both currently serving time in prison.

  • Diane Zo

    I would love to know how she looked so pregnant? I know you can get fake pregnant bellies at http://www.fakeababy.com/ but this belly is very big. Still baffles me!

  • Suzanne

    From all that I have read about this woman, it appears that on one hand she so completely believed she was pregnant that she even started lactating, and on the other hand she went to extreme lengths to keep up what she must have known was not true. So how do two totally opposite mind sets merge into a single reasonable explanation? This is just a theory, but suppose she truly believed that she was pregnant, so much so that she had morning sickness, began lactating, her stomach ballooned and others swear they even felt her “babies” move in her belly. Now suppose that she takes one at-home pregnancy test after another and they keep coming back negative, confusing her. She goes to her doctor and he also tells her that she’s not pregnant, but she simply doesn’t believe him. Suppose she feels that the doctors are somehow just plain wrong and that she KNOWS differently? If “phantom pregnancy” is a true mental illness, than this could be entirely possible. She may have faked test results and stolen sonograms to “prove” she was pregnant to others because she couldn’t understand why her test results kept coming back with the “obviously wrong answer”. This is just a theory, but if she was dealing with a mental illness, who knows what led her to go to such lengths to prove she was pregnant when she actually wasn’t. From what I’ve read, she appears to be in shock herself, at the news there weren’t any babies in her belly. Would a person who was simply a lying scam artist actually go to a hospital to deliver babies that they know aren’t there, leading them to be caught? If all she was trying to do was scam people for cash, wouldn’t she have hightailed it the minute she could? I think there is an explanation.