April Silva of Grass Valley, California, was looking to ‘pump up’ some additional income for the holiday season and help another mom in need, according to CBS Sacramento. Unfortunately for Silva, the individual who ‘purchased’ her breast milk did not have such good intentions.
Silva created an account on OnlyTheBreast.com, where women can buy, sell, and donate breast milk. The site specifically tells sellers, “Do not under any circumstances accept checks,” stating that fake cashier’s checks and money orders are common, and banks will hold sellers responsible for these fake checks. Silva did not heed this warning, and tells CBS Sacramento, “I had her address, her phone number, I looked her up on Facebook. I looked into it just to make sure it was real and everything was going to work out.”
In a series of emails with an individual who identified herself as Paula Smith, Silva and Smith arranged the breast milk shipments: 750 ounces over the next few months in exchange for $2,000. The women agreed that a cashier’s check would be the most convenient way to pay for the breast milk. Regarding the fake check, Silva says, “All through the check was almost a grid pattern of watermarks. I said to her, ‘I hope you’re not scamming me,’ she says, ‘I wouldn’t do that. You can trust me and God’s word.’”
Despite Silva’s precautions in ensuring Smith’s legitimacy, she received a call from the bank saying the check was fake, and upon further investigation it was found that the paper was purchased at Staples and the check was manufactured. The check is now with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department, which is working with Florida authorities to find the real Paula Smith.