January 2011: A state-of-the art DNA test that will reveal the blueprint of your genetic code and hold all the answers to your health, wealth and personal prosperity? Not likely! All it will reveal is the secrets of your credit card to scammers.
SCAMwatch has heard reports of consumers receiving a free DNA test kit in the mail and is warning you to be on the look out. Many of the kits are turning up in Western Australia, but reports are coming in nationally.
The kits, which look professional, contain a letter and a cotton swab in a sealed bag. By returning their DNA sample to an address in Canada, recipients are promised valuable and insightful information about their DNA profile, including detailed analysis about health, diet, intellect, personal fulfilment, disease prevention - even life expectancy and aspects of youthful age.
Despite providing the kits for free, the company is charging a $39.99 processing fee and asking for the recipient’s credit card details. As well as being a waste of money, providing your personal or financial details to people or organisation that you don’t know can be dangerous.
Don’t be fooled by the promise of receiving a personal DNA profile or prizes or bonuses for replying quickly – if you receive this kit in the mail, report it!
Consumer Protection Western Australia has issued an urgent media release warning consumers in WA about this scam.
Use your common sense – ask yourself if today’s technology can really provide this sort of information at this price or even at all
If you receive novel or unusual offers in the mail, investigate carefully before you act
Providing personal or financial details to people or organisation that you don’t know can be dangerous
You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling 1300 795 995.
Visit SCAMwatch for more tips on how to recognise and protect yourself from scams.