Scammers preying on those wanting to adopt
The IC3 received information from law enforcement and complaints filed with the IC3 concerning an adoption scam.
The scam is an attempt to collect personal information and funds from individuals seeking to adopt a child. Victims reported responding to on-line advertisements for adoptions, such as “Baby Needs A Home.” The operators of the site are fraudsters who claimed to have an overseas orphaned child in need of adoption.
Preying on victims’ emotions, the scammers explained how they promised to care for the child after the mother’s death.
The fraudsters said they were not affiliated with an adoption agency because no such agencies exist in their area. Nevertheless, they asked the victims to send pictures of their family and to complete forms that required personal information such as Social Security Number and their mother’s maiden name.
Scammers sent the victims a birth certificate and pictures of a child. One victim reported that the birth certificate appeared altered. The hustlers told victims to send hundreds of dollars via money order, credit card, or wire transfer to a bank account for legal fees.
The fraudsters claimed they would “ship” the child upon receipt of the funds. Instead, the fraudsters pocketed the money gained from the scam and provided no children for adoption.