News 12 at 6 o'clock / July 7, 2014
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Lori Secrist and her friends love to kayak, but the hassle of transporting the boats is just too much.
"I thought maybe I should look into buying a trailer," said Secrist. She said she decided to begin searching online. "I don't care much for Craigslist, but I thought okay, you have to start somewhere," said Secrist.
While fishing through the list of categories, Secrist said she could not help but notice a discussion board about adoptions.
"When I saw that, I mean curiosity got me. I had to click on it," Secrist said.
She found an advertisement from a supposed couple looking to adopt a child. The email claimed the couple lived in the states, and wanted the baby to be here as well.
"I think that it's kind of disturbing if they are putting children on the internet. That's a little scary," Secrist said.
Disturbed by what she read, Secrist contacted On Your Side to see if the ad and others we found, were scams or legit.
Our investigation found a post supposedly from a couple looking to adopt. We responded and it was not long before we received an email back. The reply contained pictures of two babies and a request for $800 from the con artists. We showed our findings to Secrist.
"The typos are a red flag to me, because our society is fairly well educated. So, this is someone who is not in our country," Secrist said.
Although relieved to know it is a hoax, Secrist said she wanted to share her experience, hoping no one falls victim to this scam.
"It's a little bit of bait that I think people could fall for it," Secrist said.
While most states do not have an adoption fraud law, if you commit this kind of crime, you could face theft-by-deception charges.
Meanwhile, legal experts say if you want to adopt, go through an attorney or a legitimate adoption agency.