Pregnant Beggar Was Asking for Help, But Then One Woman Followed Her And Discovered The Unexpected –
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Pregnant Beggar Was Asking for Help, But Then One Woman Followed Her And Discovered The Unexpected

She just couldn’t keep her eyes off this heavily pregnant woman. It seemed like her worst nightmare, but something in her gut feeling was bugging her, and she couldn’t shake it off. If she followed it through, she might make a fool of herself. A lot of thoughts were going through her mind, but then again, what if that woman’s in danger? She decided to follow her and find out more. She had no idea what web of lies she would uncover.

Just like any other day, Melissa Smith was doing work in San Diego, California, her hometown. Running some errands locally, seeing the same friendly faces when she walked into different stores. But there was someone else she also expected to see, a young woman who’d become part of the local scenery, standing outside the shopping center, begging with her young son and a bulging pregnant belly.


This time she saw the young woman and her son begin to move to another spot. Since the poor woman had no option but to live on the street, Melissa thought she must have just decided to move to a better spot to get more cash. In the daytime, she’d usually just occupy a small space near the Eastlake Village Center, a shopping complex with grocery stores, dentists, florists, jewelry stores, restaurants, salons, vintage stores, clothing departments, and sweet shops. People with a pocket full of change would be walking around all day long. The woman must know that people would come forward to help her with money, especially when they’d seen a baby bump. But she couldn’t have known or even imagined that she had now caught someone’s eye.

Melissa’s California is known for its impressive architecture, Hollywood, beautiful weather, national parks. Yet, next to all the wealth of California, sadly, it’s also known for the high number of homeless people. But Melissa also knew there were a few hacks about too and didn’t want to be fooled.


She noticed the pregnant woman every time she’d go shopping, and she couldn’t help it. “It made me feel bad,” she explained. Every time Melissa went shopping, she’d see the pregnant woman standing in the sun for hours, wearing stained clothes. Usually, she’d be alone, but sometimes a strange man was there to accompany her. Melissa thought he might be her husband.

The shoppers would offer her sandwiches, drinks, and frequently some change, and she soon became a well-known face around the shopping center. The whole setup of a young pregnant woman with a young son definitely tugged at people’s heartstrings. On this day, in particular, Melissa couldn’t shake off this gut feeling something was up.


Melissa felt sorry for the woman. “No one wants to beg,” she thought. She must be in a terrible situation. She wasn’t just homeless but also had a family she needs to feed. Every time Melissa went shopping, she’d pass this woman, and this happened for a couple of months. Melissa thought that if the woman’s begging out in the blazing sun every day while pregnant, she must be in dire need. But Melissa felt a snagging doubt in her mind.

It seems that the beggar was experienced and had an idea of how to gain everyone’s attention. She knew the situation she was in would make everyone feel sorry. The storyline of a mother fighting for survival with her small son was just something people couldn’t ignore. Another effective method to make sure people noticed her was holding a cardboard sign saying “please help” written in bland ink and holding it right above the bump.


People who didn’t feel sorry for her or her son would feel sorry for her unborn child. Maybe the whole story was legit, but Melissa just had to make sure.

Melissa lived near the shopping complex and would often visit the center in the afternoons. On this day, Melissa ran in to grab some things from the shops just before closing time but noticed the pregnant beggar wasn’t in her spot. Melissa felt worried for her and just hoped everything was fine with the woman, her son, and her child.


While she got back to her car, she noticed she was running low on gas, so she decided to stop by the nearest gas station across the road. As she pulled into the gas station, something caught her eye that spurred her into investigative mode immediately.

Melissa realized the beggar woman was standing at one of the sides of the complex. She was trying to manage to get a little more money before finally getting back home. Suddenly, a vehicle came around the corner and started moving towards the beggar at full speed. There were a lot of questions going through Melissa’s mind. Who was the driver? Was the pregnant lady in trouble? Where was her little son? She continued to watch, thinking of the woman’s safety. But she seemed to get into the nice car willingly.


Melissa watched what was happening and began feeling more and more confused. The man she’d assumed to be the beggar’s partner was the one driving. That, in itself, may not have been surprising, but the car he drove was. He was driving a Mercedes-Benz, which is considered a luxury brand and is known for expensive price tags and high-quality leather interiors.

Melissa felt adamant she should take action. Surely, she had no idea she was going to make it to headlines. She saw them all sitting in the beautiful Mercedes-Benz and drive off together. To her surprise, the car was spotless and an expensive model, as if it was brand new.


Without a second thought, Melissa got into her car and started following. She made sure to record everything on her phone. When she was able to catch up with them, she saw that they were chatting and laughing in the car together, and the little boy was in the front seat too.

Melissa felt it was a con and full of anger. She just didn’t want to let them get away with this. She knew that as a responsible person, she should bring this to everyone’s attention. She had no idea what would come next.

Melissa continued following them for a bit longer and was surprised when they stopped in front of a different shopping center. The beggar and the boy came out of the car and started doing the same thing. She saw her sitting there with a board, and the man drove away again.


Melissa knew all this time something was really wrong, but she still had no idea how deep this whole mess went and that the authorities would soon be involved.

Melissa was so angry to see what was happening that she took her phone out and started taking pictures of her and her son, or was he even her son? But they soon spotted her and were outraged and started yelling and screaming at her and threatened Melissa with rocks. Another lady who was passing by saw what was happening and called the cops. This made the beggar grab her son and start running from the scene.


But Melissa wasn’t ready to give up on this one yet. Melissa decided she wouldn’t let the imposters just get away with it that easily. She posted about them along with their pictures all over social media, but she also decided to take a step further and Melissa contacted the local news station too. She wanted to make sure all the locals would know about the beggar’s deception and stop more people from giving them money.

The news station became curious and wanted to find out if there was something more to the story. So, from Melissa’s photos and videos, they were able to capture the number plate and car details. After research, it was discovered the car was registered to the name of a female, but the address wasn’t disclosed. This was just the beginning of the story of these fake beggars. It didn’t take long for the story to spread, and the interest of many local journalists had been captured, who wanted to find out more. They were able to make sure they traced the whereabouts to the woman in the photographs to Encinitas Heights Apartments. The rent of an apartment was as high as $2500.


As soon as the story started to spread, journalists from magazines, radio stations, and newspapers went to the address but returned empty-handed. The lights didn’t turn on for days, and no one entered or exited the apartment. Then something else happened. A new couple moved in, and the couple who lived there previously had left during the night without any notice.

Melissa felt amazed by the kind of attention the story was getting. Melissa shared everything online and made sure to post it along with proof in the form of photos and videos. Many journalists decided to contact her and collect more information and share stories themselves. “I don’t feel good to see what’s happening. Please don’t give money to these people. They don’t need it. They’re driving a Mercedes,” she pleaded. People were surprised to see that someone would use pregnancy and a small child to gather pity from others.


A few days later, some journalists received a phone call that made them run towards the news. A young lady named Rebecca, while driving to one of the shopping centers, had heard the story of the panhandler. Soon, she came across the woman that she recognized with the help of Melissa’s videos. She made sure to leave a comment under Melissa’s post immediately with a photograph as proof. As soon as the news made its way to investigative journalist Emily Valdez, she gathered her team and started to move towards the shopping center. They wanted to make sure they caught hold of the panhandler this time.

Valdez, following the tip, started to search for the woman in the shopping center. She checked around all the pregnant women present, but none of them were beggars. But when she was finally able to track the woman from Melissa’s post, she was in a state of shock. Valdez was confident the panhandler was pregnant, but just within two days after Melissa discovered the truth, she was in another shopping complex with her baby. But Valdez didn’t let her stop her from further investigation.


The moment Valdez saw her, she pointed the microphone towards her and started asking questions like, “Is this you begging?” Valdez took out her phone and showed Melissa’s video to her. The woman first stared at the phone and then at Valdez and looked right at the camera and said, “I don’t speak English.” Her child held her tied at the jumper.

Next, when Valdez began to follow the beggar on the road, the same man showed up. Valdez said, “Keep the camera rolling.” She was not letting this story go. The man tried to keep his family, if they are his family, away from the journalists, but they weren’t in a mood to give up. They followed him to the streets and saw them hiding in a corner behind a van.


By running facial recognition on the woman from the video and the one she met that day, Valdez made sure that it’s the same woman. It was an 80% match. Valdez started to observe the woman’s partner. There was something wrong about his reaction, which sparked her belief that there are more things that need to be discovered. And her prediction was right. The man said something to Valdez in Spanish; however, he whispered to his partner in a different language.

Valdez had no idea what he said, but she was in a position to do everything in her power to understand what he was trying to say. Later on, this comment would lead to exposing the truth that this family was trying to hide. Valdez made sure to download the footage, place headphones over her head, and started listening. She made sure to hear the recording again and again, but she wasn’t able to identify the language. She coincidentally received a phone call from an expert.


At the time, retired detective Leslie Albright came across the interview of Valdez with the suspects. She played a crucial role in the investigation of underground crime rings with the San Diego Police Department. After working for 25 years, she became a specialist, and this story made Leslie think she surely heard the language before. But she was trying to figure out where.

After a lot of thinking, she was able to recall it. Leslie realized this woman wasn’t just any beggar, and this story is more complicated than what it seemed. Valdez wasn’t the only person searching for the beggar, but the rest of the people were also looking for details. But no one knew the scam was about to get exposed. This story was much bigger than what people had anticipated. In the past years, people started noticing problems in their community. California has always been considered as the city of lifestyles and hip cultures, but there was one problem that was getting worse day by day, and everyone would just keep ignoring it.


One user on Reddit wanted to expose it but doing it was risky. Leslie’s career was devoted towards catching the top-notch criminal, and beggars usually aren’t involved in any of these offenses. But the language spoken by the mysterious man made her think that there’s more to the story. She saw the video again and was able to recognize it. This man was speaking Romani, and they used a common method to dismiss the media. What else was the beggar couple hiding?

Leslie realized that the couple was part of an organized crime group which she was investigating for years. This group started the ring right after they entered the US illegally, and sadly, they commit such crimes daily. The members of this group would live in expensive houses and own lavish vehicles. They were scamming lots of people for a long time. Leslie shared her conclusion with Valdez. The couple beggar they were following was most likely just co-workers and not a couple, and the pregnancy was also just a scam.


There are more hidden facts about the story too. It’s been a long time that authorities were trying to catch them and hold them up, but they were so smart that they’d keep changing their locations. As soon as someone would notice and catch on to them, they would just pack their bags and flee. Likewise, the beggar Melissa had caught did the same thing, and just when it seems that everything was over and they couldn’t be spotted, a man came forward with some information. This would surely help authorities find out more.

An unknown person came forward and revealed some information that put his life in danger. Furthermore, he shared it on Reddit: “I had a mutual friend with them who’d just tell me they knew about them and that they’re just a roaming pair of con artists whose families made their way into the country.” But he didn’t stop there; he even revealed that the women that they spotted were forced to do this kind of thing. The man was afraid his identity would be revealed through the profile, and it would be a concern for his safety.


What would happen if it was revealed after all this? More information started to float around. It was further revealed the woman would stuff her clothes with the money she made to pretend she’s pregnant. Because of the fake belly, she would easily turn $500 a day. But there were many others who were doing the same. When it comes to such kind of things, it’s often the men who are leading the operations. They offer desperate women a place to live and food in return for the work.

The woman would be sent out every morning and would be collected in the evening. It’s understood the profits are not distributed on a fair basis. Those who run this camp would be living lavish lives, and the others wouldn’t. They’ll use small children and babies in any manner they can. The children weren’t allowed to go to school because their future and job lie in the business of the family. Leslie later revealed these children usually don’t receive any kind of education, and crime’s the only thing they do know.


The anonymous user also pointed out how people must know that there’s plenty of organization and services that could help people in need, especially women and children. They’re taking advantage of everyone by scamming them at the entrance of the parking lot. None of them is reporting this earned money, and both of them are taking state and federal assistance for poverty.

But soon after he started to get threatening phone calls before he would remove all the information and traces about himself from the internet, the user had one thing to add: “They might try to do this scam again. There might be a different woman or location. In any case, call the cops, make sure to let them know they’re the BMW scammers, so that they’re properly identified, and the state can make the proper deportation. Don’t offer them any help or give money to any panhandler you see.” The Reddit user’s warning was quite clear.


Leslie’s former team, of course, is still working to find out who’s running the operations, and let’s just not forget about Melissa. Without her curiosity, people would have never come to know about these scams in the first place. But one question still lingers in the mind: If the police aren’t able to catch them, then how will all of this be stopped?

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