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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Adoption and Hit Man Scams
January 26, 2011

Adoption and Hit Man Scams

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Hit Man Scams

The IC3 has received several complaints about a new twist on the extortion/hit man scam, which is now targeting nannies and day care providers.

The fraudster contacts the potential victims via email claiming their team was hired by a friend of the victim to "terminate" them. The fraudster demands amounts ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 to call off the hit and claims he will hand over a tape containing evidence as to who hired him once the amount is paid.

The recipient is threatened with murder and the kidnapping of the children in their care if they fail to comply.

The majority of the victims had some affiliation with a nanny position and speculated that the fraudster must have obtained their contact information through an online classified ad offering their services as nannies.

Others stated they had advertised online that they were seeking a nanny, while one victim was reportedly a day care worker.

Fraudsters Preying on Individuals Who are Wanting to Adopt

This 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 fraudsters 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.

Fraudsters sent the victims a birth certificate and pictures of a child. One victim reported that the birth certificate appeared altered. Fraudsters 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.

If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other Cyber crime, you can report it to the IC3 website at: The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identity emerging trends and patterns.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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