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updated 3/14/2011 2:14:10 PM ET 2011-03-14T18:14:10

People looking to adopt are targets of a new social engineering scam spreading across the Internet.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received notice of a scam sending out online advertisements for adoptions that attempt to collect money and personal information from people interested in adopting a child.

The e-mails, titled “Baby Needs A Home,” are being sent by “fraudsters who claimed to have an overseas orphaned child in need of adoption,” according to the IC3. The scam message lures in victims by offering to send the child’s birth certificate and photo in exchange for the recipient’s Social Security number, mother’s maiden name and “hundreds of dollars via money order, credit card, or wire transfer to a bank account for legal fees,” according to one complaint.

Though this scam is engineered to prey on the emotions of those seeking to adopt children, security professionals advise people who receive this e-mail – or any requesting money and personal information -- to be extremely wary.

 

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