Scammers, and a couple tips to avoid them

By  JimGL33
Published December, 2013

We are waiting to adopt. We have an adoption attorney and we set up a website, email address and toll-free number. We do all we can to protect our identities from strangers looking to take advantage of us during this process. If money is mentioned, I refer them to our attorney who, I tell them, will know exactly what we can “legally” assist them with. If they don’t call the attorney, chances are they aren’t even pregnant.

We were contacted today from a woman that wants us to adopt her twins. How about sending us some pictures, we ask. She sent us 8 pictures of “her twins.”

Here’s a tip - do a Google image search (http://www.google.com/imghp). I saved the pics to my computer and then uploaded them to Google image search. 5 of the 8 pictures were found on the internet and were of other people’s twins!

Here’s another tip - use Google Analytics for your website. We know this person is actually from Cameroon, Africa. That same day someone came to our site from a Google search of the phrase “people wanting to adopt a baby in the uk with their email address” and their location was Douala, Cameroon.

After every contact we receive, we try to learn as much as we can about how the person came to us. You can ask them, but they are not likely to tell you they did a Google search for “get paid a lot of money to give my baby up for adoption.” No, I didn’t make that one up.

Doing internet searches of names (their first and last names are often listed with their email address), email addresses and/or phone numbers can often turn up some information. Phone numbers will at least give you a location that can be cross-referenced with Google Analytics. We’ve found many Facebook pages with no privacy protection. We’ve also come across mugshots and arrest information (mugshots.com). You never know what you will find.

Here’s what the US Dept of State website had to say about Cameroon:
Fraud Warning: Recently many Americans have become victims of Cameroonian scam artists offering adoption services through the Internet. Americans should be very cautious about sending money or traveling to Cameroon to adopt a child from an orphanage they have only heard about through e-mails. Prospective adoptive parents MUST travel to Cameroon and participate in person in the legal procedures that govern Cameroonian adoptions.