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April 20, 2010

 Beware of Lost Colony "Free DNA" Scam


If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  That old adage is just as accurate as ever.  Sadly, a scam artist has figured out how to use the Lost Colony and those searching for their roots in relation to the Lost Colony to line his own pockets.


This individual claims to provide free DNA testing if you'll only give him $30 to join his organization.  In return, you get a "free" DNA test.


This test kit is from Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), a completely reputable organization who is also a victim in this scam.  Sorenson is a research organization, not a DNA testing company that provides results to individuals.  They used to provide free kits, but the kits were for people to contribute their DNA to Sorenson's research project.  Sorenson reached their goal of 100,000 participants nearly two years ago and no longer provides nor processes free kits.  Results were never provided to participants, but participants can go into an online database and search for their pedigree information in order to find their results.  Furthermore, even after finding your own results, you are not provided with the marker values to compare to other data bases elsewhere.  This is not a criticism of Sorenson, as their goal was always research and not commercial testing and is clearly stated as such.


The result of this "free DNA" scam is that unsuspecting people who are interested in their genealogy pay $30 to join this disreputable organization to obtain obsolete free kits that are no longer valid and their DNA results will never be forthcoming.  They could have obtained these kits completely free from Sorenson during the time when these tests were legitimately being offered.  Sorenson indicates that they never worked with this individual or his organization.  This disreputable individual/organization simply saw the opportunity to pocket $30 for each Sorenson kit and is taking advantage of people to do so.  While this sounds pretty trivial, it's not.  At a meeting the scammer recently attended, about 30 people tested.  You do the math.  However, by the time the victims wait months/years for DNA results that are never forthcoming and discover they have been scammed, the perpetrator is long gone or has some excuse and most people won't call the authorities over a $30 issue.  Often, people are embarrassed that they were gullible.


Sadly, this scammer has recruited a newly formed genealogy club on the Outer Banks to help spread the word about these "free DNA kits" on Facebook and was featured in a local newspaper.  Unfortunately, the end result of this is that his victims may be so disenchanted by their first experience with DNA testing that they will never test with a valid organization (Family Tree DNA) or join our legitimate Lost Colony Genealogy and DNA Research Project.


Sorenson is aware of this issue and is in the process of evaluating their options to halt this scam.  If you have been scammed or wish to verify this information, you can contact Ugo Perego, Sorenson's Director of Operations at 1-800-344-7643.


For legitimate Lost Colony DNA testing, please join the Lost Colony projects at Family Tree DNA.  We have Yline, mitochondrial DNA and Family Finder projects at the three links below.  The test isn't free, but tests start at $99 you will receive results in about 6 weeks.  Our projects are professionally managed and compare the results of various individuals.  Without a comparison data base and supporting genealogy, DNA testing is only half of the equation.


Yline - (paternal surname) -


Mitochondrial - (maternal line) -


Family Finder - (autosomal)


We collaborate with the following research organizations:

Family Tree DNA

University of Bristol (England)

Eastern Carolina University

Fort Raleigh (Manteo, NC)

First Colony Foundation (produces the Lost Colony play and invites us to join them with our display during the Dare Faire each August)

Hatteras Archaeology Society

Histories and Mysteries Museum (Buxton, NC)

Amerindian DNA Project

Waccamaw DNA Project

Lumbee DNA Project

Melungeon DNA Project


Our  Lost Colony website includes more than 2000 pages of research, all free, at



Catch us Online

Our  Lost Colony website includes more than 2000 pages of research, all free, at

Our Project on Facebook -



Lost-Colony-of-Roanoke-DNA-Project/126053773239?v=wall - thanks to Janet Crain for this

Our Blog - - If you don't subscribe to our's a great time to do that...just click on over and sign up so you don't miss anything!!  Thanks to Janet Crain and Penny Ferguson for our wonderful blog.

Our Website - - Nelda adds to information to our website almost daily.  Have you checked your surnames lately to see what is new?  Please contribute something for your surnames, or a county of interest.  Thanks to Nelda Percival for her untiring work on our website.

GenealogyWise - - Thanks to Andy Powell for setting this up.  

Our DNA projects at Family Tree DNA:

Yline - (paternal surname) -


Mitochondrial - (maternal line) -


Family Finder - (autosomal)



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the music playing is the awakening, 

composer Yani and his orchestra


Contact Information: 

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General Information/Project Membership: 


The Lost Colony Research Group is in NO WAY affiliated with The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research.  The Lost Colony Y-DNA and MT-DNA projects at Family Tree DNA are NOT IN ANY WAY  affiliated with The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research, regardless of what their links imply.


"Please notify us of any claims to the contrary."


There is no fee to join our group and no donation of monies or objects are needed to participate in "The Lost Colony Research Group".


As with any DNA project, individuals pay for their own DNA testing, but the
group itself  - is strictly volunteer and free to join, upon approval of membership.


Neither, myself, nor the Lost Colony Research Group together or individually are  responsible for the personal content submitted by any individual to this website.


Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2008 Last modified: January 04, 2012



The art work on this website is my (Nelda L. Percival) original art work and has not been released to any person or organization other then for the use of Lost Colony Research Group and the store front owned by the same. My art work has never been part of the Lost Colony Center for Science and Research's property. My art used here and at the store front was drawn precisely for the projects run by Roberta Estes and ownership has not been otherwise released. This project also uses the artwork of Dr. Ana Oquendo Pabon, the copyright to which she has retained as well. Other art works are the copyrights of the originators and may not be copied without their permission.
All DNA Content on this site belongs to the individuals who tested and or their representatives . The person who tested does not give up ownership of their DNA or DNA results by posting them here.
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Some Native American art work is from  Some of their art was used as a bases for different creative graphics.