Craigslist with Another Black Eye … Baby for Adoption, of 7 Month Old Jake Brennan Ad Scam

 

The law of unintended consequences when family blog meets scam artists.

More bad PR for Craigslist …

The mother of of 7 month old Jake Brennan was horrified to learn that a picture of her son was Craigslist_Brennenused on Craigslist advertising his own adoption. Just one problem, he was not up for adoption. The picture has since been taken down.

MyFOXBoston reports that a stranger alerted Jenni Brennan of Abington, Mass. to the photo, which involved her 7-month-old son, Jake, in an online adoption scam. The ad read: “A CUTE BABY BOY FOR ADOPTION HE IS VERY HEALTHY AND READY FOR ADOPTION FOR MORE YOU COME BACK TO US.”

Brennan responded to the ad, receiving an email describing her son as Canadian but currently living in an African orphanage.

So how did the scammers find the picture of 7 month old Jake Brennan? From the Brennan’s family blog. Makes one think a second about making their entire family open to the world, doesn’t it?

So Brennan tried responding to the ad herself, and sure enough, an e-mail was sent to her using her son’s picture, describing him as a child born in Canada, but now living in an orphanage in the African nation of Cameroon.

The scammers didn’t bother to cover up their tracks either. Inside of the e-mail, Brennan could easily see that the photo was taken from her family blog.

What is the responsibility of Craigslist to actually verify in some way the ads on their site?



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  • Comments

    One Response to “Craigslist with Another Black Eye … Baby for Adoption, of 7 Month Old Jake Brennan Ad Scam”

    1. mike on August 11th, 2010 8:46 am

      Craigslist has removed the ad, so I’ll include it here:
      A CUTE BABY BOY FOR ADOPTION (LONDON)
      Date: 2009-07-19, 11:16AM BST
      Reply to:peter_mark76@yahoo.com?subject=A%20CUTE%20BABY%20BOY%20FOR%20ADOPTION%20(LONDON)
      A CUTE BABY BOY FOR ADOPTION HE IS VERY HEALTHY AND READY FOR ADOPTION FOR MORE YOU COME BACK TO US
      Location: LONDON
      it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
      PostingID: 1277456374

      This scam, and others like it, are alarming. Thankfully the boy and his family were never in danger. However, what parent-to-be would think adopting a baby through craigslist is responsible, or even reasonable? Especially when the ad is placed in London, and replies to inquires say the child is a Canadian citizen, residing in an Africa orphanage, and that $300US will get the paperwork started.

      Craigslist has a scam warning page, and a link to it available on every page of their site. They have done as much as they can while remaining cost free. Thinking critically is the best defense to scams, whether they’re online or in real life.

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