Consumer Watch: Free DNA Kit Could Be A Costly Mistake For Oklahomans

Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 10:53 pm
By: News 9

Amanda Taylor, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gina Rowsam admits she was intrigued when she received a free DNA kit in the mail.

"I was actually impressed in that I didn't see any errors in the grammar," Gina Rowsam said. "The way it was put together was official, worded well."

She initially thought it might have been from her doctor. But a closer look and the DNA kit is filled with red flags.

First of all, it's post marked from China. And while the kit is free, processing it is not. In fact, it asks for your credit card number and a long list of personal questions you then send off to The Netherlands.

The Consumer Watch Team showed the package to Tom Bates with the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office.

"There's a good chance that this is really a method of obtaining people's personal identifying information," Tom Bates said.

Bates said victims often take the bait of these phishing scams the more personal they are.

"So if they can get your cell phone to send you a text message, if they can get your email address to send you an email, your home address, anything they can," Bates said.

The bottom line, if you didn't ask for the information, ignore it!

"The best way to prevent identity theft or most frauds is to never, never, never, never give out any personal identifying information through an unsolicited communication," Bates said.

The business listed on the DNA kit is actually a legitimate company out of Canada. It's aware scammers are using their name.

A DNA Technologies spokesperson sent News 9 this statement:

"We are quite concerned that this type of offering has been sent out under our brand name, DNA Technologies. We are well known in the anti-counterfeiting industry for our core product, embedded DNA markers for security printing, packaging and labeling. We do not provide the service as described in the package."

If you receive a DNA kit, or any unsolicited mail, report it to the Attorney General's Office.