There are scams all over Facebook, and we do our best to warn you about them. They're all bad, but this one crosses the line in a way that will make you furious. It's one of the most despicable things you'll ever see a human being do.
Rosemary Newell was the mother of a terminally ill newborn named Megan. Soon after giving birth, Rosemary was informed that Megan had glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and generally the most aggressive type of brain cancer in infants.
To deal with her grief, Rosemary set up a Facebook account for her sick daughter called Megan’s Journey. Rosemary posted photos, received kind wishes, prayers and generous offers.
One kind offer in particular came from a woman named Dawn Phaneuf of Tennessee. Phaneuf messaged Rosemary offering to start a fundraiser where she would donate 75% of the proceeds she made off of crocheted baby outfits to Megan's inevitable funeral costs.
Rosemary gladly accepted the offer and posted messages to the Megan’s Journey Facebook wall encouraging people to order these handcrafted outfits. Rosemary had no reason to be skeptical since many other businesses and Facebook users offered to start their own charities to help the Newell family in their time of need.
All seemed fine until Rosemary reached out to Phaneuf after little Megan passed away on June 10. Hoping to receive the money Phaneuf raised from the crocheted outfits, Rosemary informed Phaneuf of her daughter's death and asked about the donations.
That's when the excuses began.
First, it was that Phaneuf was finishing up a few pieces and needed some time, then it was because her husband had fallen off the roof and she needed to tend to his injuries. After several more attempts to get the money she was promised, Rosemary began asking customers who had pre-paid for the baby outfits if they had ever received them.
Every single person who had placed an order with Phaneuf hadn't gotten their outfits, let alone heard from Phaneuf.
So Rosemary went to PayPal, the service Phaneuf used to commission the "sales" of her handmade baby attire, and filed a formal complaint. Megan's funeral has long since passed and Rosemary just wants the people who tried to help her family by purchasing an outfit to get their money back.
The worst part about the whole thing? The Newells aren't the people who have experienced this type of cruel scam.
“Apparently it’s not an uncommon thing for families going through crises in general to be preyed upon,” Rosemary told Yahoo Parenting. Other people shared their own scam stories on the Megan's Journey page - things like fake fundraisers, people pretending to have cancer and fictitious GoFundMe campaigns are common among those experience traumatic losses like that of a child.
Phaneuf denied any wrongdoing when she was approached by a local news station. She claimed she had been hacked and moved right along with her day, leaving a wake of lies and devastation behind her.
But Rosemary isn't going to let that bring her down. She has bigger things to worry about, like raising her two young sons with her loving husband. But she admits, losing a child can get to you mentally.
“As long as I keep myself busy, I’m OK,” Rosemary explained. “But then at night when everyone’s in bed, it’s that quietness, and you start to think and think and think, and rehash. And it’s hard.”