Adoption Scam Alert

Ankeny, Ohio Police are asking for anyone who has been approached by Tracy Leann Bess or Tracy Leann Bess-Thacker to contact them at 515-289-5240.

Charged and plead guilty in 2011 with filing a false report and perjury in relation to adoption scamming, Bess-Thacker has once again been on the prowl. Arrested last week after accepting money from a prospective adoptive couple, Bess-Thacker has been actively scamming hopeful adoptive couples from several states. She uses past pregnancy sonograms and hospital photographs as she creates profiles with adoption agencies and contacts parents hoping to adopt.

Although she does accept money, the scam isn’t all about stealing. She supports herself psychologically by preying on the emotions of hopeful adoptive parents. And she is very good at it.

In July of 2014 the Ankeny police department was contacted by a Utah couple who was in the midst of an adoption relationship with Bess-Thacker. After researching her, the couple found information about her 2001 arrest and they notified the police. Unfortunately, there were no “applicable laws with which to charge” her then.

Because she uses a variety of aliases, the police department is asking for her photo to be shared on social media — especially adoption related sites — to help prevent future pain for hopeful adoptive parents.