FARMVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

Deputies arrested a Pitt County woman for allegedly pretending to be pregnant to scam couples who wanted to adopt children.

"She's shady," said her ex-boyfriend, who asked to remain anonymous.

Investigators said Heather Taylor, of Farmville, targeted couples who had posted on Craigslist looking to adopt. According to deputies, she contacted the couples from Jan. 28 to March 22 and claimed she was looking for a home for her unborn child.

Taylor talked with one couple in Wilkes County and another couple in Illinois over the course of several months, according to the Pitt County Sheriff's Office. At one point, Taylor went as far as to pretend that she was in labor while on the phone with one of the victims, deputies said.

"She was faking contractions," said the alleged Wilkes County victim, who wished to remain anonymous. "She just is exploiting something that should be sacred and beautiful. Adoption is something that's very close and dear to our hearts."

Taylor received more than $1,500 from the couples because she told them she needed money for medical expenses, food, gas and travel, said investigators. But the suspect was never pregnant and never intended to provide a child to the victims, according to deputies.

"She's always tried to beat the system," Taylor's ex-boyfriend said.

Taylor was charged with 11 counts of obtaining property by false pretense. She was being held in the Pitt County Detention Center under a $75,000 bond.