So you've been scammed by Brio Birth. If you were part of the initial group of educators, I feel your pain. If you jumped on board later, I have much more mixed feelings. There was a huge body of red flags out there that even a simple google search should have revealed. There are also many childbirth educators, doulas, midwives and so on out there who have raised their voices in warning, and yet people jumped in anyway, enabling the Brio Bunch to continue scamming the birth community and innocent mothers.
With that said, if you have truly finally seen the light, welcome to the other side! You may never see a dime of any money that you may have put out, though you could get lucky, but you can make your experience mean something, and try to recoup what you lost along the way. Here are a couple of suggestions for actions you might take.
- Charge back any money you paid via Paypal or Google Checkout. You can also file a fraud complaint. Brio has had, as of this writing, at least one Paypal and at least one Google Checkout account shut down. Keep them on the run.
- If you are unsuccessful in getting a refund via Paypal/Google Checkout, be sure to file a complaint with the service, and if you used a credit card, go to your credit card provider. Some victims have had success getting a refund to their credit card by doing this.
- File a complaint with IC3, the Internet Crime Complaint Commission. They investigate internet fraud and white collar crime, and they take a vacuum-cleaner approach and then correlate complaints that are scattered geographically. Thus, they might realize that an educator in Oregon and an educator in Florida were both scammed by Brio Birth, and lend more weight to the need for an investigation into their internet activities.
- File a complaint with the CO Attorney General's Office. This will reach BBB and/or law enforcement as appropriate.
- Share your experience with your local birth community and any birth-y contacts you have elsewhere. Let the truth flow through the internet, in hopes that eventually there will be a dense enough net that they can't continue to swim through. They are thriving on others' silence, however well intended that silence might be.
Please feel free to add to this list in the comments. I know that people have gone to other law enforcement resources including the F.B.I. and different levels of prosecuting attorneys, and I would love to hear experiences from these efforts. With good information, this may become its own tab that people can refer to.