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?SCAM COVID19 genetic risk test offer from Michael Francis Madarasz at sequencing.com

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  • ?SCAM COVID19 genetic risk test offer from Michael Francis Madarasz at sequencing.com

    I got an email offer a few hours ago for a "free COVID-19 genetic risk analysis" at the email I have on file at FTDNA and GEDmatch from this person: "Michael Francis Madarasz" [email protected] at "sequencing.com" . The email looks unprofessional and I am concerned that this is a phishing scam. There are links with instructions on how to upload your raw DNA from FTDNA, 23&Me and Ancestry. Did anyone else receive this email? Did FTDNA give our email addresses to this individual/company? I did not click on any of the links. Be careful everyone!

  • #2
    sequencing.com appears to be a legitimate site.

    I am very dubious of the validity of their many health reports based on raw DNA files.

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    • #3
      When in doubt of an email, do not pursue it. Did you use the email address you use for FTDNA and GEDmatch only at those two places? Do you not use it anyplace else? I doubt that FTDNA shares their customers' email addresses with any third party companies, as it seems to violate their privacy policy. You can read FTDNA's privacy policy, and specifically part "5. How FamilyTreeDNA shares your information," to confirm that. Perhaps one of your matches that you communicated with using that email address had their computer hacked, and in the process their address book was copied.

      I use one email address for genealogy, and for a long time it did not receive any spam. But, once it started to receive spam, it continued to do so.

      One time I thought I'd try a common free email provider, and signed up for an account. Within hours, it was clogged with spam, and basically unusable. I had not even had time to use it, or send out even one email from it. Who knows how the spammers obtain addresses? Maybe they simply use an automated brute force method.

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      • #4
        "FTDNA" was on the email subject line. That is why I was curious to know if other FTDNA members had received a similar message or if anyone had heard of the company. I have never received "genealogy spam" at this email address. I was not thinking about pursuing it.

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        • #5
          There has not been enough study of the new virus even to describe in sufficient detail its clinical course, let alone to establish any possible genetic risk factors. This is bogus science, a scam, and a fraud.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Epiphyte View Post
            "Michael Francis Madarasz" [email protected] at "sequencing.com" .
            That sort of thing is easy to do from what I understand. The thing to look at is what comes after the "address" who will tell you who really sent it. That was sent from that Michael character, whoever he/she/it may actually be. They grab thousands of random email addresses and send emails to them from various organizations and companies hoping someone will click the bogus link. It may not even be from a company you do business with. Be careful with emails coming from banks you don't even deal with saying that your account is overdrawn. Whose name was mentioned in the email you got? Was your name mentioned specifically? Often these emails will be addressed to "dear customer" or "dear friend". There is every reason to doubt this came from anybody from sequencing.com.
            Last edited by ewd76; 28th April 2020, 10:21 AM.

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            • #7
              The email did not have my name on it. For what it is worth, I reported the "phisherman" to the Gmail security team. I bet he got my email address from GEDmatch. It would be easy to grab thousands of genealogy enthusiast email addresses there. I've been thinking about deleting my account since my DNA is on all of the other major sites. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

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